The Washington PostThe Washington Post

'Monster' fish eludes capture as Chinese city drains lake, millions watch

By Lyric Li

25 Aug 2022 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

Alligator gars are native to the Americas and were introduced to China as pets. No one wants to take this one home. The Washington Post reports on the “monster fish” that has captivated many in China.

A furtive "monster" fish caught national attention in China this week as millions of people tuned in to a multiday effort to capture it.

The fish, estimated to be at least 27 1/2 inches long, was first spotted in mid-July by a resident in Ruzhou, a landlocked central Chinese city. Local authorities identified it as an alligator gar - a torpedo-shaped freshwater fish with razor-sharp teeth - and launched an operation to capture it. Officials fear the fish, whose origin is traced back some 100 million years by fossil records, would attack humans.

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