Dumped fish prove to be slippery customers during pond clearance
More brutality and ineptitude in the government round-up of alligator gar was evident yesterday at Lai Chi Kok Park when Leisure and Cultural Services Department staff attempted to catch more of the non-native fish that have been let go in park pools.
They have been released by fish fanciers unable to care for them as they outgrow their home aquariums.
One fish, named the 'treasure of Tak Wah Park' by park visitors, died two days ago after it was injured during a removal operation.
Yesterday, at Lai Chi Kok Park, another alligator gar broke the net government staff were using to catch it.
When the fish was finally caught, it was put into a bucket that was not big enough to hold it, with little water. The creature, more than 30cm long, struggled violently and injured itself. It escaped twice, surprising onlookers and frustrating the erstwhile government 'fishermen'.
The gar should be given an area of their own to be displayed in, visitors said. 'They should be put into a special pond,' a visitor in his 70s said. 'Like how they treat [crocodile] Pui Pui.'
Pui Pui was found after having been released into the wild in the New Territories in 2003. It now it lives in a dedicated section of the Wetland Park.
The department said it had not found any organisation with appropriate facilities to adopt the fish. It would discuss with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department on how to put them down humanely.
The department also defended its handling of the fish, saying they were removed with care.
Many children flocked to parks in the hope of getting a glimpse of the fish. 'I haven't seen the fish before. I came to check if all of them were caught,' said 11-year-old Law Ho-hin.
Meanwhile, a blogger has posted pictures on the internet he took of an alligator gar at Chai Wan Park in 2007.
The fish was moved to a shallow pool when the big pond needed cleaning, he said, meaning staff must have known about its existence.