Naitaka

Freshwater Monsters of Canada, including Ogopogo.

Etymology: Okanagan (Salishan), "lake demon."

Variant names: Na-ha-ha-itkh, Na-ha-ha-itque ("snake in the water"), N'ha-a-itk, N'ha-ha-itq, N'hahtik, N'haw-hetq.

Behavior: Churns the water into a fury.

Distribution: British Columbia; Saskatchewan; Manitoba.

Possible explanations: The legend may be partially based on fossil bones. In the 1930s, a huge Naitaka bone was found on the shore of Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba, by Oscar Frederick-son. Though the original was lost in a fire, a wooden model of it had been made, and this model was examined in 1960 by zoologist James A. McLeod. He concluded the bone was most likely the vertebra from some large reptile.

Sources: Primrose Upton, The History of Okanagan Mission (Okanagan Mission, B.C.,

Canada: Okanagan Mission Centennial Committee, 1958); Susan Allison, A Pioneer Gentlewoman in British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada: University of British Columbia Press, 1976), pp. 22, 41, 159; Mary Moon, Ogopogo (Vancouver, Canada: J. J. Douglas, 1977), pp. 8-26.

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