Invasive Savage Snakehead Fish
These fearsome creatures have large mouths filled with razor-sharp teeth, and are voracious predators, eating absolutely everything in any stretch of water they inhabit.
Invasive Savage Snakehead Fish
In the year 2000, a man living in Maryland, in the town of Crofton bought two live snakehead fish from an Asian fish market in New York. He wanted, for his poorly sister, medicinal snakehead soup, as per Asian tradition, but she recovered beforehand.
Having no use for the snakeheads, a male and a female, he set them free in a pond, unaware of the horrors he was unleashing. These fearsome creatures have large mouths filled with razor-sharp teeth, and are voracious predators, eating absolutely everything in any stretch of water they inhabit.
They prey on hand worms, snails, fish or even to small mammals, these horrors will eat it, and the pair released naturally started breeding. What the hapless man freeing these creatures did not know was that they are incredible survivors, however survive hostile the conditions.
These fish can breathe out of water, and having stripped one pond bare can leave the water and spend up to four days walking on their strong fins to find another food source. They are able to hibernate when water surfaces freeze, and remain dormant in mud during drought periods.
Usually found in Asia, where it is often treated as a sport fish, though the locals in that part of the world do sometimes eat them. Just how prolific they are was demonstrated when, in 2002, a man angling in Crofton caught a snakehead in a pond, one of 800 that had emerged from that original pair.
Local wildlife officials immediately sounded the alarm, and poisoned the pond, trying to kill them off, but to no avail, because in the intervening years between then and now, these scary snakeheads have spread all the way up the eastern seaboard of the USA, from Maryland to Florida.
As the invasion widened out, ever more desperate measures were taken, with wholesale poisonings of affected waters and even snipers with rifles employed to get the fish that left the water. The more that was said about these monstrous fish, the more bizarre the names bestowed upon it, such as Frankenfish and Fishzilla
Ecologists fear that, because of its extraordinary adaptability and lack of natural predators, this fearsome species would devour all resident species of aquatic life, so much so that regional US wildlife authorities are encouraged anglers to not only report sightings but also kill any they find.
Maryland officials even offer bounties for those catching and killing one, as long as they post pictures of themselves on the website of the Maryland authorities. Not that these fish are easily caught, because they are naturally wary.
There are genuine concerns among the ecologists across America about the threat to indigenous fresh-water species, because nothing at all can compete with these illegally and stupidly released invaders. The snakeheads are extremely savage and very scary, and unlikely to be cleared from US fresh waters anytime soon.