The great snakehead fish hoax

Last year The Sun in its indomitable style (among others) reported on the worrying discovery of a snakehead fish in the River Witham.

A SAVAGE fish more terrifying than a piranha has been caught in Britain for the first time – sparking fears of a deadly invasion. The vicious giant snakehead EATS everything it comes across and has even been reported to KILL people.The monster – from south-east Asia – has a mouth crammed with fearsome teeth, can “crawl” on land and survive out of water for up to four days. ….

An Environment Agency source said last night: “The reaction was, ‘Oh s***’. This is the ultimate invasive species – if it starts breeding here it’s a disaster.” Angler Andy Alder caught the snakehead while using a sprat as bait for pike on the River Witham near North Hykeham, Lincs.

Andy, of Lincoln, said: “It had a gob full of razor-sharp teeth. To be honest it looked terrifying.”

The snakehead fish is a major enviromental problem in the Southern US. But fortunately, the story turned out to be a hoax. Wikipedia notes: The Norfolk Eastern Daily Press reported in March:

Expert opinion from fish scientists insisted this warm water species could never survive in the icy Lincolnshire river for more than a few seconds. It has since been discovered the snakehead was actually dead laying in a Lincoln street and the finder preserved it in a domestic freezer until the following weekend when the misleading pictures were taken.

The Sun

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