A Facebook user, who earlier claimed to have captured a giant amphibian-like animal from a pond near his house in northern Vietnam, admitted that he fabricated the story for attention, according to police.
Police in Vinh Phuc Province said they summoned Phan Thanh Tung a few days after photos on his Facebook account, purportedly of the strange animal, were shared by thousands on social media on Monday.
Tung, 25, told police he had downloaded the original pictures from a website, edited them and then reposted them on his Facebook, lying that he had caught the animal himself.
He said he also lied about selling the animal to an unidentified buyer, police said.
Family members and neighbors of the man said they had never seen such an animal at his house.
Tung said he only wanted attention from other Facebook users.
The story indeed caught the attention of the general public and many scientists the past few days, sparking a nationwide guessing game about what the creature could be.
While many assumed that it was a giant salamander, which is usually found in China and Japan, some even called it a dinosaur.
Forest management authorities and police then decided to look into the case in order to find out who bought the animal and rescue it.