Knoxville wildlife officials denied capturing a baby “Hydra,” amid fevered speculation over the existence of the mythical creature in the region’s polluted rivers.

The Knoxville Journal has reported that a young hydra was caught by a group of men thought to be from the Wildlife and National Parks Department at Volunteer Landing near Holston Gasses two weeks ago.

The paper quoted local residents as saying they had spoken to men who described accidentally hooking the creature with the anchor of a river patrol/bass boat. The locals then peeked into the back of the their truck to see a large, slimy creature, that was reported to have as many as eight heads. One person even reported cutting off a head when nobody was looking, but did not mention whether or not it grew back.

Knoxvillians are taking the claims seriously, with plans to develop a special submarine that can handle the depths of the Tennessee River in order to see what other life forms may exist down below.

Suggestions that the story has been cooked up to lure tourists to Knoxville have been denied.