Out Of Place Animals

JamesWhitehead

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#1
Mystery Carp Appear at Trafford Centre

Always nice to find a tale which has classic Fortean credentials. To have one
occur at a soulless modern precinct warms the heart.

Tonight's Manchester Evening news contains a nice piece of classical
Forteana - the fish which suddenly appear to populate pools:

http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/stories/Detail_LinkStory=18899.html

Trafford Centre's aquatic riddle
A SHOAL of 30 koi carp worth tens of thousands of pounds has mysteriously turned up in one of the ponds at the Trafford Centre.

Landscape gardener Danny Wilson couldn't believe his eyes when he spotted the colourful and valuable collectors' items in a man-made pond next to the The Orangery, a bar outside the Orient at the £900m shopping city.

At first he thought it was simply a plastic bag shimmering in the pond beside the stone fish statues which spout water.

But a closer inspection revealed his fishy find. They boast distinctive red markings and some are as heavy as 2lbs and as long as 18 inches.

The discovery has baffled staff at the centre.

One theory being considered by centre staff is that a contractor placed a couple of koi carp in the pond during the early days of the building's construction to see if they would breed.
Valuable
It looks like they did. Now the estimated 30 fish, which have been valued at around £1,000 each, are being cared for like VIPs, with water lilies added to oxygenate the water.

They have become something of an attraction among shoppers who want to see the latest centre attraction.

But the high value of the carp means security staff have been placed on alert.

Danny, 24, said: "I have worked here eight months and never knew there were fish in there. No one knows how they got in the pond but staff at the pub believe they have been there for some time and have bred and multiplied.

"I was really surprised to find that the fish included koi carp. "We are all growing fond of them."

Steve Bunce, director of operations at The Trafford Centre, said: "We were absolutely stunned to find them.

"We're not sure how they arrived but what's important now is that we look after them the best way possible.
 

minordrag

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#2
Re: Mystery Carp Appear at Trafford Centre

James Whitehead said:
The discovery has baffled staff at the centre.
Anytime somebody's baffled...it's Fortean. Bravo.
 

escargot

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#3
My daughter did a stint as one of 'Philippa's Psychics' there last year!

Nice place, but hellishly expensive.
 

river_styx

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#4
escargot said:
My daughter did a stint as one of 'Philippa's Psychics' there last year!

Nice place, but hellishly expensive.
And carp have shitty credit.
 

oll_lewis

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#5
o_O.P.A.- hong kongs croc still on the loose

At the time I'm writing this a crocodile has been on the lose in Hong kong for nearly 2 weeks... the authoritys know exactly whare it is but the wily beast has manage to evade many capture attempts, including one under taken by a 'real life ' crocodile dundee. :rolleyes:

No zoos in the area have reported a missing crocodile.

Croc on the loose in Hong Kong

By Chris Hogg
BBC correspondent in Hong Kong

Hong Kong officials are struggling to capture what is believed to be the first crocodile ever found in the territory's waters.
The alarm was first raised by villagers in the New Territories on Sunday.

Police and conservation officers were mobilised, but have so far failed to capture the beast.

Basking in the sunshine on the banks of the Shan Pui river the crocodile, some 1.2 metres long, appears unbothered by the excitement it had created.

No one knows where it came from but the authorities suspect it was a pet that escaped or was dumped into the river after it grew too big.

As reporters watched from the safety of the opposite bank, it made one or two lazy attempts to find some dinner in the river before returning to the mudflats to watch them.

Chicken trap

This croc was no pushover though.

When police and conservation officers approached, planning to shoot it with a tranquilliser gun and net it, the beast slid quietly into the water and disappeared.

Nothing has been seen of it since.

Lookouts have been posted on the river bank while a large cage baited with half a chicken has been placed in the water.

Officials say there is nothing they can do now but watch and wait.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/3239161.stm

Published: 2003/11/04 06:33:27 GMT

© BBC MMIII
and the latest:
Hong Kong crocodile hunt begins
An Australian hunter has begun combing marsh land in Hong Kong for a crocodile which has eluded the authorities since it was first spotted almost two weeks ago.
John Lever, who works on a Queensland crocodile farm, is planning to lay bait for the beast and then wait in a boat, hoping the crocodile will be hungry enough to visit.

He has said he can then try and grab the animal.


Getting close enough to catch him is the hard part. It requires a lot of stealth
John Lever
Crocodile hunter
"He's asked for chicken heads, a bamboo pole and a boat," a government spokeswoman said. The chicken heads should attract the crocodile's interest, she said.

The hunt for the Hong Kong crocodile has captivated the territory and dominated newspaper headlines.

"I don't know how to rate my chances at this point," Mr Lever told Hong Kong's English-language daily, the South China Morning Post, which has sponsored his visit.

"Finding him is the easiest part. Getting close enough to catch him is the hard part. It requires a lot of stealth," said Mr Lever.

The crocodile, which is 1.2 metres long, is not native to Hong Kong.

It is believed to have escaped from a home where it was kept as a pet, or a farm on the Chinese mainland.

But the authorities fear the animal could harm someone, and they are determined to track it down.

So far they have been remarkably unsuccessful.

Teams of sharpshooters with tranquilizer darts failed to hit their target in front of the assembled media.

A series of traps have also failed.

On one occasion the crocodile managed to eat the food in a trap and slip away without getting caught.

But officials say they intend the animal no harm.

If its caught it will be sent to a zoo - no doubt as the top attraction.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/3269995.stm

Published: 2003/11/14 10:03:10 GMT

© BBC MMIII
 
A

Anonymous

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#7
It's not much of a story though, is it? Crocs are found in other parts of SE Asia, and i've visited a croc farm in Singapore. And it's not exactly a leviathan...according to our local paper a few years ago, we've had a bigger croc in my local Cheshire resevoir.
 

oll_lewis

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#8
It is quite an interesting story, it is on Hong Kong island. It is not a salt water crocodile so must have escaped from somewhere in the city itself. Homg Kong island is one of the most densely populated citys in the world so presumably a person keaping it in their flat (flats are incredably small in hong kong no bigger than a western living room usully) would have had a very hard time hiding it, let alone haveing space for it.

The crocodile is definatly on the loose as there has been a lot of vido footage of it in the city on bbc new 24 and none of it shaky cameraed or blured.

the Crocodile is still on the loose dispite John Leaver and the citys 'experts' best attempts to catch it, it's been on the lose for over 2 weeks now :)
 
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#9
Man finds octopus in toilet

Peorian finds octopus in his toilet

Origin of tentacled mollusk a mystery: 'I know they don't live in the river'

November 20, 2003

By LESLIE WILLIAMS
of the Journal Star

PEORIA - Chad Allen will never look at the toilet in his North Peoria home the same way again.

That's after he says he discovered a tiny octopus on the inside of it Wednesday afternoon.

"I looked over and saw something," said Allen, 31, of 634 W. Mount Hawley Terrace. "I thought it was a paper towel."

Instead, he found the dark brown mollusk with a head about the size of a quarter and eight sucker-covered tentacles several inches long.

"I couldn't believe it," Allen said. "It wasn't in the toilet water. It was resting on the side of the bowl."

He fetched a wooden spatula from the kitchen and gave the octopus a poke.

"It was dead."

Allen insisted the saltwater creature was not his and guessed somebody had flushed the octopus down the toilet after it died in an aquarium.

"I know they don't live in the river," he said.

An employee in the fish room at Super Pets, 910 W. Lake Ave., who asked to remain anonymous, said an octopus wouldn't last more than an hour in fresh water.

"They're pretty sensitive to changes," he said.

The employee said the pet store sometimes carries small octopuses, but it hasn't in a few months because they are hard to acquire.

"It's odd that (an octopus) can get backed up in the sewer system like that," Allen said. "The chances of it happening are so slim."

Stan Browning, executive director for the Greater Peoria Sanitary District, agreed.

"It's very unlikely something like that would happen," he said. "It's not impossible. It's extremely unlikely."

Plumber James Dillon, who's also mayor of West Peoria, found the toilet tale hard to believe.

"That's a first," he said. "I've never heard of it."

Dillon said if the octopus was flushed, it must have been by someone living near Allen's residence.

"It's wild that something like that would happen," he said. "Peoria has one of the best sewer systems in Illinois. All of the sewers are sealed."

Dillon added, however, there is nothing in the sewer system that would block an object the size of the octopus from coming up plumbing.

Browning said the only way an octopus would have gotten into the sewer system is if a pet owner flushed the creature down the toilet.

"We don't find exotic animals like that in the sewage," Browning said.

"The odds are really slim … that it traveled … up a pipe and into someone's toilet. It would move in the pipe the same direction the water is moving. It would move like any other sewage solid."

To make sure that no other Peorian finds a surprise in their toilet, Allen said he planned to throw the octopus into the garbage.

"I don't want it to wind back up in someone else's toilet," he said.
http://www.pjstar.com/news/local/b1cepdrj006.html

Mr Browning: Executive Director for the Greater Peoria Sanitary District!!

Priceless :)

Emps
 
A

Anonymous

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#13
Next time watch out for sharks

<<<Plumber James Dillon, who's also mayor of West Peoria...... said. "Peoria has one of the best sewer systems in Illinois.>>>

What a coincidence. Unexplained mystery right up the mayor's alley.

No, seriously, the explanation is very simple: someone must have eaten at a Greek restaurant. :)
 
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#14
Perhaps it was an artist's model for "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife"
You are also down one naked woman and one octopus but its a reasonable start (better than not having any octopi [mmmmmmmm octopie] or a naked woman).

Emps
 

lopaka

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#15
But seriously (or at least semi ;) ), this guy was just going to throw it in the trash? With no attempt made at itentification. There are at least 150 species of octopus, inhabiting most all of the world's ocean enviornments. One of the truly fascinating animals in the world.

If it was of the type that's found in aquariums or restraunts in central Illinois, the mystery would at least be somewhat lessened. If it was the tiny Blue-Ringed Octopus from Australia, the bite of which can kill an adult...:eek!!!!: I'd say the mystery was somewhat deepened.
 

lopaka

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#17
Much obliged for the follow-up, Pete. Resolution in these sorts of stories doesn't happen very often. Though the real question now, I suppose, is how long before some (very embellished) version of this appears as a UL?

BTW, I have a very close friend who lives in Peoria named Jen. Rest of the details don't match, unfortunately.
 
A

Anonymous

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#19
That Shouldn't Be There!

You can just imagine the moment of mind churning horror and confusion when the guy spots it for the first time!

"What the @#*^s that?" !?!?!? :eek!!!!:

:rofl:
 

ginoide

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#20
quote:
Dynasty Buffet manager Raymond Poon said the baby octopuses are a popular item when they are available. "They taste like squid."

er... just a question: isn't it obvious? i mean, to anybody living in the mediterranean area octopus is food before being an animal. (i mean, lots of people find them disgusting, but everybody knows you can eat them). it's just as if an american chef said >oh yeah, pork. tastes like beef, just fatter>. but maybe octopus is a mediterranean specialty?
 
A

Anonymous

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#21
They are big in Greek cuisine, but the buffet is obviously Chinese, so I don't know if they're as popular in the Far East. Anyway, this restaurant got some free advertising and could be appropriately renamed ... OctoPussy? :)
 

oll_lewis

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#23
Latest on the croc

It's still evadeing capture :)

Crocodile foils new capture bid

A small crocodile that has thwarted numerous attempts at capture in Hong Kong has done it again.
The reptile slipped into a muddy creek on Monday, as a hunter tried to catch it with a harpoon.

The crocodile became a celebrity by eluding Hong Kong officials, who then enrolled the serviced of Australian crocodile hunter John Lever.

But before dawn on Monday Mr Lever failed in his fourth attempted capture in as many days.

"We got the closest that we have been," he told the BBC's World Today programme.

"The boat hit the weeds he was in and caused vibrations and he disappeared right before my eyes."

Another go

Mr Lever - who is using a small boat to hunt down the crocodile - first tried to lure it with chicken heads.

But the 1.2-metre (4-foot) animal was not hungry enough to take the bait.


Mr Lever then relied on a special bamboo harpoon, which he said could capture the animal without killing it.
He told reporters would try again on Tuesday night, when the tide seems right.

Responding to critics who wonder why he does not go after the crocodile in the daytime, when it is been spotted repeatedly, Mr Lever said that would not work because animal would see the hunter approach.

The hunt for the crocodile has captivated Hong Kong and dominated newspaper headlines.

Mr Lever told the South China Morning Post, which has sponsored his visit: "Finding him is the easiest part. Getting close enough to catch him is the hard part. It requires a lot of stealth."

Defiance

The crocodile is not native to Hong Kong. It is believed to have escaped from a home where it was kept as a pet, or a farm on the Chinese mainland.

But the authorities fear the animal could harm someone, and they are determined to track it down.

They have been remarkably unsuccessful so far. Teams of sharpshooters with tranquiliser darts failed to hit their target in front of the assembled media.

A series of traps have also failed. On one occasion the crocodile managed to eat the food in a trap and slip away without getting caught.

But officials say they intend the animal no harm.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3276045.stm

Published: 2003/11/17 04:48:19 GMT

© BBC MMIII
 

OneWingedBird

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#24
If you order the Seafood Ramen at my local Japanese restaurant you almost always get a whole baby octopus floating in it, always a deep red colour though I've never figured out if that's the colour it turns when cooked, or something they put in when cooking.
 
A

Anonymous

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#25
It's up to 007!

Fascinating! But I fear there's no other choice but to send James Bond back to Hong Kong. Where the Ozzies have failed, the Brits shall prevail.
 

littleblackduck

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#26
Octopus Colouring

BlackRiverFalls said:
If you order the Seafood Ramen at my local Japanese restaurant you almost always get a whole baby octopus floating in it, always a deep red colour though I've never figured out if that's the colour it turns when cooked, or something they put in when cooking.
The cephalopods (octopi, squid, cuttlefish) on the nature programmes flash different colours and patterns like miniature LED displays. Some deep-sea varities have running lights or glow like glow-worms. They are terrific mimics--some can look like fish, sea snakes, coral, flounders, the sea bottom ... one Indonesian variety mimics about a dozen creatures.

The purple-red colour of cooked octopus, like the orange of scampi, and the red shells of lobsters, is the result of a reddish pigment being produced by cooking (or at least not destroyed). American lobsters are, for example, normally green-brown and only turn red when boiled. Red-purple colouring helps camouflage sea creatures among red algae, rocks, coral and in deep water where red light predominates..

I love cephalopods--they may be predatory and cannibalistic, but they are beautiful in their home environment and extraordinary creatures.

Here is a t-shirt idea I have had for years:

Nice old woodcut of a squid with the slogan: Save a Squid, Eat Lamb.

Actually, I am just as happy eating the squid: Homer Simpson says: Mmmm... squid.

Mmmm ... Little deep-fried calamari, tentacles browned like dried lotus blossoms. My favourite Greek restaurant moved away to the suburbs, but I buy squid rings from time to time.
 

stonedog3

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#27
I like the way you can use your tongue to play with the suckers on tentacles.

My parents said not to play with food. My gran said if it was dead I could do what I liked with it as long as I didn't waste any.

I loved my gran!

Kath
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#28
OK more out of place ocotpi (esp. odd as they aren't freshwater animals):

Illinois Fisherman Catches Octopus at Lake Conway
Thursday December 04, 2003 8:59am


Mayflower (AP) - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says an Illinois fisherman caught a live octopus at Lake Conway.

John Mazurek of Glenn Ellyn, Illinois, caught the octopus on Monday when he saw it clinging to one of the gates at the lake's dam.

There is no explanation for how the octopus made it into the lake, but the commission said it is thought that the animal was kept in a home aquarium and when it grew too large someone dumped it into the lake.

The commission said that Mazurek's fishing license covers the catch. The only violation was dumping the octopus into the lake, which breaks rules against release of non-native wildlife into Arkansas waters.
http://www.katv.com/news/stories//1203/112648.html

An aquatic version of the ABC 'cover story' ;)

Emps
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#29
A follow up report with picture (which I'll attach)

[edit: oops too big - I'll resize and compress - go to the site for the larger version]

and an interesting aside on early Lake Conway monster sightings:

Illinois fisherman 'hooks' octupus at Lake Conway

Saturday, Dec 6, 2003

By Joe Mosby

Today's fishing report from Lake Conway: Bass fair, crappie very good, bream good, catfish fairly good, octopus excellent.

The venerable lake has seen and hosted its full share of oddities in its 52 years, but John Mazurek Sr. may have reached a new plateau Monday when he caught a good-sized octopus at the lake's dam.

Yes, octopus - the ocean creature of many myths, little knowledge among inlanders and several steps beyond the more familiar eye-openers like alligator gar and grinnel.

No one has a solid explanation of how this octopus got in the lake, but a common guess is someone had it in an aquarium, but the critter grew too big and was dumped into the lake. It was alive when Mazurek caught it.

He told John Harper, wildlife officer with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, that the octopus was clinging to one of the gates at the lake's dam when he saw it and grabbed it.

Mazurek's fishing license should cover octopusing. And he didn't exceed the daily limit on this species.

Only apparent violation was the dumping of the octopus into the lake by party or parties unknown. This violates rules against release of "exotic" or non-native wildlife into the wild, land or water, in Arkansas.

Mazurek lives in Glen Ellyn, Ill., and was in the Conway area on a visit. He may not be aware that he achieved a plateau that wasn't reached during Lake Conway's early days and the era of the Lake Conway Monster.

In the early 1950s, numerous reports were made about a strange and unidentified creature seen, heard and - on one or two alleged occasions - smelled in and around the lake. Guesses included bear, escaped convict, alligator, alligator snapping turtle and - most frequently and most likely - alligator gar. A similar report came forth once or twice in the 1970s. But no one suspected octopus.

In the 1950s, the reports came to a sudden halt by action of Frank Robins Jr., then the publisher of the Log Cabin Democrat. Robins simply ordered, "No more stories on the Lake Conway Monster unless they are accompanied by a photograph."

Mazurek would have satisfied the Robins decree.

Several species of octopuses live in oceans close to North America. Largest is the pacific octopus, which can grow to 30 feet and more. Some are so small they are sometimes washed upon shore inside sea shells. The Mazurek octopus may be the common octopus found in waters off Florida. At least, its size is appropriate for that species.

Debi Ingrao of the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla., said, "Octopuses have the most complex brain of the invertebrates (animals without backbones). They have long-term and short-term memories as do vertebrates. Octopuses learn to solve problems by trial-and-error and experience. Once the problem is solved, octopuses remember and are able to solve it and similar problems repeatedly."

There may be people in this area who could learn something from octopuses.

And no, stocking octopuses in Lake Conway was not a facet of the recently released long-term management plan for the lake drafted by the Game and Fish Commission and the Lake Conway Citizens Advisory Committee.
http://www.arkansasnews.com/archive/2003/12/06/JoeMosby/75824.html

I have to say my suspicion is that it is a hoax carried out by the guy who found it - it couldn't have survived long in freshwater (anyone got any ideas how long?) and so he would have had to have found it quite quickly or it was actually in a cool box in his truck ;) .

Also being discussed at Tonmo (where I got the links from):

http://www.tonmo.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=1613

Emps
 
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