KOTA KINABALU, Aug 5 — Morning joggers at the Tun Fuad Stephens Park in Bukit Padang here were stunned to see a monster fish, the size of some of the pedal boats found nearby, floating on the surface of the lake today.
Photos of the dead seven-foot long arapaima, weighing some 108kg, have since circulated on local social media.
The freshwater fish was first spotted at about 6.30am and eventually hauled to shore.
City mayor Datuk Nordin Siman said the arapaima, native to the Amazon in South America, was likely discarded into the park lake when young and lived there for many years with local fishes.
Locals speculated that the fish may have been poisoned, but Nordin believes it most likely died from old age.
He said that the Fisheries Department was called in to investigate the cause of its death.
“The Borneo Marine Research Institute at Universiti Malaysia Sabah will also be doing some research on the fish,” he said.
The arapaima is said to be one of the world’s largest freshwater fishes and can grow to a length of over nine feet.
Curiously, the fish has to surface regularly to breathe as an oxygen boost.