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Al Edenloff, Forum Communications Co., Published March 27 2012

Doggone mystery solved: Dead squid on Minnesota lake was turtle food

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – It began as a mystery. Last Friday afternoon, the Alexandria Echo Press received a call from a resident on South Union Lake with a weird tip: He came across what appeared to be a dead squid lying on the ground of the public access on South Lake Union, just a few feet from the lake.

The newspaper checked it out and sure enough, there on the access was the carcass of a squid. It was only about a foot long, but it had tentacles and suckers.

Of course, squids are never found in freshwater lakes.

A friendly golden retriever was also on the scene, sniffing at the squid. No one else was around.

The newspaper posted a short story and photo of the squid on its website and on its Facebook page, and placed a call to the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Office in Glenwood – they thought it was likely a prank.

Meanwhile, speculation began on Facebook about where the squid could have come from. Most thought it was a gag. Some said it could have came from an aquarium or been brought back by someone on vacation.

A few suggested it might have come from Bio Corp. in Alexandria, which provides preserved specimens, including squids, to classrooms for dissection and study.

As it turns out, the owner of Bio Corp., Ben Hedstrom, lives right across the street from the access. He buys squid by the ton, and he’ll often take some home to feed to his turtles.

That friendly pooch at the access was Hedstrom’s dog, Drake. He must have stolen a couple of squid from the turtles and dragged one of them down to the access, Hedstrom said when contacted by the newspaper.

Mystery solved.


Al Edenloff writes for the Alexandria Echo Press.