A rare predatory fish that breathes fresh air and can survive on land for hours has been discovered in Georgia for the first time.
If you see it on land or in the water, kill it immediately. Wildlife officials don’t want the fish to breed and multiply.
The invasive fish species is called “snakehead fish” because its markings resemble a python snake. It was discovered swimming in a pond in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The fish have sharp teeth and are voracious eaters. The can grow to three feet long.
Officials at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division said a fisherman caught the fish and alerted them.
“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,” said Matt Thomas, chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division. “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.”
Early humans are believed to have evolved from amphibious sea creatures that crawled out of the sea and adapted quickly to land.
Humans were originally herbivores (plant eaters) until they began cooking meat shortly after discovering fire. From then on humans killed, cooked and ate meat, wiping out entire species of animals. Scientists don’t want this predatory fish to acclimate to land and wipe out local species.
Officials say the snakehead fish is non-native to Georgia and it affects native species by competing with them for food and habitat.
Officials ask fishermen to immediately kill the fish and freeze it so officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and GDNR officials can retrieve it for research purposes.
If caught do not release it back into the water.
“If possible, take pictures of the fish, including close ups of its mouth, fins and tail (and) note where it was caught,” state officials said, adding that it is illegal in Georgia to keep snakehead fish as pets.