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PARIS – A small town in eastern France is on high alert after multiple sightings of an elusive creature.

Xertigny is a village in the Vosges region, and home to about 3,000 people. Although relatively small, it is now making headlines after multiple residents reported seeing a large crocodile at a local pond. Crocodiles are only found in France in zoos and parks.

Authorities left a dead chicken on the bank in order to lure it out, but so far the beast has not taken the bait. A special sonar device was used to try and the creature in the murky water, but the results were inconclusive. Residents are so concerned that draining the whole pool is now being considered.

“We have been around the pond several times and you can’t really say if anything is there,” said Bruno Aime, vice president of a local anglers’ association.

“I think it’s carp but it could also be a caiman [crocodile] of about 1.50 metres. The equipment doesn’t let you see the difference between a pike of a metre long and a caiman of 1.50 metres,” he told France Info radio.

The beast has not been caught in film yet. Weekly World News will continue to follow the story and provide updates as they become available.