Fish that ‘walks’ on land and kills others creates panic in US state

The authorities in Georgia, US, have asked people to kill the fish immediately if they spot it as it is predatory and will overtake native aquatic wildlife species

A specimen of the Northern Snakehead fish.
A specimen of the Northern Snakehead fish.

NH Web Desk

A predatory Chinese origin fish that can survive on land for several days has created panic and left authorities worried ever since its discovery in Georgia, US, a few days back. The authorities are telling people to “kill it immediately” on spotting.

The fish, called Northern Snakehead, is native to Yangtze River basin in China. It was spotted in Gwinnett County a few days back in a private pond. The officials are trying to find out how the fish reached the pond.

The Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) of Georgia has released the following instructions for the citizens if they happen to come by the fish:

a. Do not release it

b. Kill it immediately

c. Note where it was caught (waterbody, landmarks or GPS coordinates)

d. Take pictures of the fish

e. Immediately report it to WRD

“Thanks to the quick report by an angler, our staff was able to investigate and confirm the presence of this species in this water body. We are now taking steps to determine if they have spread from this water body and, hopefully, keep it from spreading to other Georgia waters,” the quoted an official as saying.

The Northern snakehead can grow up to 3-feet in length and is able to breathe air, allowing them to survive on land for upto four days. It can also burrow into mud, and can wriggle on land to other water bodies.

Officials are concerned about the Northern snakehead infiltrating US water because they are “voracious predators”. It eats other fish, frogs, small reptiles, crustaceans, birds and some mammals.

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