Mystery surrounds how a koi carp fish ended up in a fast-flowing, normally shallow Cork river and how it survived after being attacked by birds and territorially aggressive brown trout.

Scientist Ross Macklin discovered the ornamental fish in the Glashaboy River, in Glanmire. Mr Macklin was surveying for the county council and OPW, ahead of flood-prevention works due to start shortly in the area.

Mr Macklin has worked such surveys for the past 11 years and, though he has probably captured 100,000 fish for research purposes, he has never come across anything like the koi carp.

The Irish Examiner was present when the carp was netted in the river by the “gobsmacked” scientist.

“In all my years doing this job and travelling to rivers all over the country, I have never seen anything like this. I don’t know how long he’s been in the river, because they normally die very quickly if they are out of ponds,” he said.

However, he says the fish must have been there for a while and was able to fend for itself. “He showed signs that birds had picked at his upper scales and look to have bitten off a piece of his tail.

“There’s also no doubt that he was bullied by the numerous brown trout in the river, who are very territorial and can be very aggressive stopping others from competing for food. But, still, he’s there,” Ross said.

After measuring and weighing the koi carp, Ross returned the fish to the river.

Ross said the good quality of the river water was probably also a factor in its survival.


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