Bizarre Attack As Aligator Fish Bites Womans Hand In Israeli Shopping Centre

A huge predatory fish that is illegal even to bring into the country has been found in an ornamental fishpond in an Israeli shopping centre after it bit a woman’s hand.

Shocked managers at the shopping mall are now working with police to find out how long it had been there and where it came from, and are unsure if it was supplied with the other fish or had been placed there by a person or persons unknown.

The one metre (3.3-foot) long alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) which can grow up to twice the size is extremely dangerous and among the largest freshwater fish in North America, and was removed from the un-named shopping centre after it bit a woman who placed her hand in the water.

Credit: Israeli Agriculture Ministry/Newsflash

The woman, name not reported, luckily only suffered minor injuries in the incident.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said an investigation has been launched to discover how the banned fish ended up in the shopping centre.

They described the situation as “unprecedented” and added that they will not disclose which shopping centre the incident took place at while the investigation is ongoing.

They had to use special equipment in order to safely capture and remove the dangerous fish which they warned in the press statement could “even kill a human” although it mainly fed on other fish.

However, there does not appear to have ever been a case of an alligator gar killing anybody officially recorded and its unclear on what the Israeli agricultural ministry based their statement.

But it does have a fearsome reputation and earns its name from the resemblance of its long snout and sharp fangs to that of an alligator.

The torpedo-shaped fish, which can reach a length of up to three metres (9.8 feet), is commonly found in the southern USA.

In a statement obtained by newsflash Hagai Neuberger, Supervisor and Enforcement Officer in the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said but if such a fish were to escape into local waterways and reproduce, the consequences could be catastrophic.

He said: “It is important to mention that according to the fishing regulations, keeping fish prohibited is a criminal offence. The possession of prohibited fish species poses a threat to harm the diversity of the ecological in Israel and in man, in which case a tangible and clear danger to public safety.”

The fearsome-looking fish feed mostly on other fish, but also devour turtles, small mammals and waterfowl.

It was not revealed what happened to the large fish after it was removed from the shopping centre.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Lee BullenSub-EditorJames King,  Agency: Newsflash

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