Dead 'alligator gar' fish found in Risca canal

The alligator gar fish discovered at a Risca canal Image copyright Tyrese Martin
Image caption The mysterious creature is thought to be an alligator gar fish

A large, scaly creature that looks like a crocodile has been found next to a canal in Caerphilly county.

The dead fish - thought to be an alligator gar - can grow up to 10ft long and weigh 350lbs and is normally found in North America.

Tyrese Martin, 16, found it while walking to school on Thursday morning.

Local angler David Terrell said he had pulled it from the canal before it was found by the schoolboy in Risca.

"People fish there and we were worried it could spread disease and wipe out everything," Mr Terrell said.

"I didn't know what it was at first, but it seems it's an alligator gar - they're from America not Risca!

"How it got into the canal I've no idea."

'Concerning images'

An RSPCA Cymru spokesperson said they would welcome any information, as there are restrictions on keeping alligator gar as pets.

Anyone with information as to how the fish came to be in the canal is urged to contact the RSPCA 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999.

"These are very concerning images," the spokesperson added.

"This is likely to have been a very distressing discovery for a member of the public to make; and we'd urge anyone with detail which may explain the circumstances behind this animal being dumped to contact us.

"There have been restrictions on the keeping of alligator gar fish in Wales for a number of years; and these would be very difficult animals to keep successfully as they can grow to be very large and their needs are the same as they would be in the wild.

"Sadly, we all too often see exotic pets abandoned when it hasn't been possible to meet their welfare needs."

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