Lake Ontario 'shark' turns out to be a publicity stunt
It was all a load of bull shark.
Bell Media says the video that popped up online of a "shark" allegedly spotted in Lake Ontario was actually a publicity stunt, designed to promote an upcoming program on the Discovery Channel.
The description that had been associated with a YouTube posting had claimed that the video was shot on Wolfe Island, near Kingston, Ont.
Wolfe Island Mayor Denis Doyle said Wednesday that it was "rather concerning" to learn the clip was a hoax.
Other Wolfe Island residents were glad that the shark wasn't real.
"I was really fearful," Laura Staley said Wednesday. "Overall, I'm absolutely relieved."
Kody Paul said he had been discussing the matter with his young sons in recent days.
"Our kids grow up swimming in these waters," he said. "It certainly switched up the atmosphere around here."
While Paul said the stunt was "a little bit off-putting," he said that his family was also feeling relieved.
"We're choosing not to get too upset about it," he said.
Ahead of the revelation of the hoax on Wednesday, several experts had quickly cast doubt that the creature shown in the online video was truly a shark.
It also spawned a fake account on Twitter:
The story even made the rounds at the Ontario Legislature.
It spurred the Progressive Conservatives to joke that the unidentified creature was a Liberal that had lost its way.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said her party has more experience with sharks in the Legislature than those in the water.
The fake shark sighting comes just over a week after another creature made headlines showing up somewhere unexpectedly — but the earlier case was real.
A caiman, a close relative of an alligator, was seen swimming in a pond in Toronto earlier this month. It was subsequently captured.
On mobile? Watch the 'shark' video here.
With files from The Canadian Press