A two-foot tropical Colombian catfish which usually faces being caught, barbequed and eaten will live on a diet of fresh vegetables from Bolton Market in its new life as one of the newest additions to the 700-strong aquarium at the Lancashire town’s museum.
The Panaque L191 was acquired by Pier Aquatics in Wigan after travelling 5,000 miles from its native Rio Caquetá. Shopkeepers approached Bolton Aquarium with a view to handing it over, and it will go on permanent public display once it has survived a few weeks in quarantine.
“One of our resident fish, Fred the Catfish, is a popular attraction, and I’m sure our new arrival will attract a host of new fans,” says Chris Peacock, of Bolton Council.
“He is quite a remarkable looking fish, with long spines on the head and fins, so I hope people will come down and have a look.”
Experts from the venue – the only public aquarium in Greater Manchester – are planning to ply the Panaque with sweet potato and garlic from their local market.
“The aquarium has an excellent international reputation,” adds Peacock.
“We have a large selection of fish on display and lots of regular visitors who return to see their favourite creatures.”