Police seize illegal alligator fish from mall after biting customer

A woman was bitten by a large predatory fish found in an ornamental pond at an Israeli shopping mall over the weekend.

The 3.3-foot-long alligator gar, which can grow to twice its size, is one of the largest freshwater fish in North America. Adult guys are typically 4 to 6 feet long and weigh 100 to 160 pounds, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It is illegal to import fish into Israel.

The fish was removed after attacking the woman, who had put her hand in the water. His injuries have been described as minor.

Managers at the mall are working with police to determine how long the fish have been there and where they came from. They don’t know if it was provided with the other fish or if it was placed there by someone.

Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has launched an investigation to find out how the banned fish ended up in the mall.

Special equipment was used by inspectors to safely capture and remove the fish, which authorities say could “even kill a human,” although it mainly eats other fish.

The gar alligator gets its name from the resemblance of its long snout and sharp fangs to that of an alligator.

The torpedo-shaped fish are commonly found in the southern part of the United States.

If such a fish escaped into local waterways and spawned, the consequences could be catastrophic, said Hagai Neuberger, supervisor and control officer of the fisheries division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in a press release.

It is important to mention that according to fishing regulations, keeping prohibited fish is a criminal offense. Possession of prohibited fish species poses a threat to harm ecological diversity in Israel and in humans, in which case a tangible and clear danger to public safety, ”he said.

The fish feed primarily on other fish, but it also feeds on crabs, turtles, small mammals, and water birds.

There was no word on what happened to the alligator gar after it was removed from the mall.

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Peggy P. Gilmore