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Northwoods city fueled by monster mystery

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hodag statue

What has green fur, the head of a frog, the face of an elephant, stubby legs and jagged spikes along its backside? Wisconsin’s infamous, 200-pound monster, the hodag.

Exactly 125 years ago, Rhinelander resident Eugene Shepard claimed to have captured this foul-smelling beast, thereby coaxing some curious Oneida County fairgoers into shelling out a dime for a hurried glance.

While proof of its existence has yet to be confirmed, Rhinelander locals proudly exhibit the impish nature of the hodag through banners, statues, a high school mascot and the popular annual Hodag Country Festival.

Click here to learn more.

Lauren Olson

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