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Finding Minnesota: Minneapolis' Own Lake Monster

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- When you head out to the lakes in the summertime, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

But a couple of years ago, something else started making an appearance in the lakes of Minneapolis -- something that looks a lot like the Loch Ness Monster.

The first sighting was at Lake Harriet three years ago. Then people around Lake of the Isles, Brownie Lake, Lake Nokomis and Powderhorn Lake started seeing the creature, too.

Mary DeLaittre of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation helps take care of the creature affectionately known as Minne.

"Seeing Minne up close, she's very pretty," DeLaittre said. "She's a pretty girl."

DeLaittre says kids love Minne.

"Children think she is terrific, and they have tremendous ownership of Minne," she said. "There is nothing better than walking around the lake and for the first time spotting Minne. And it's not just once, they keep coming back and coming back and weaving stories around Minne."

DeLaittre arranged to get WCCO-TV's cameras a good look at the creature out of the water, on the condition we did not disclose her location or show her all of her parts.

Cameron Gainer, the Minneapolis artist who created her, has displayed her in other states.

"She was presented in a variety of exhibitions, both in oceans and in still water," DeLaittre said. "She ultimately landed here in Minneapolis and has taken on a life of her own."

Part of Minne's mystique is her location. You never quite know where she's going to pop up.

"It's definitely word of mouth," DeLaittre said. "We have it mapped out where she is going to be in the summertime, and we sneak her in there."

Although Minne is a creature of few words, she is quite active on Twitter (@lakecreature) and Facebook.

It's through social media that she posts clues about her location. And if you try to find her, you'll learn that she and her caretakers have a sense of humor.

And once Minne appears in a lake, she stays put for a couple of weeks before making a move. Look for her in mid-May.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation says Minne is all about getting people excited about going spending time at the Minneapolis lakes. Through the end of April, the foundation is offering T-shirts and frisbees with Minne's likeness on them when you make a donation.

For more info, just go to the foundation's website.

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