Farewell to Bolton's most popular fish 

15/01/10

Bolton Museum, Aquarium and Archive’s most popular live exhibit has sadly passed away.

The Giant Green Knifefish, which took pride of place in the aquarium, died of natural causes this week.

A popular attraction with visitors of all ages, the fish had lived at the aquarium for 10 years and was approximately 13 years old when it died.

Over the years the fish had been given a variety of names by visitors, including Sparky, Kevin and more recently Mack the Knife.

At over four foot long and weighing six pounds, its size was probably its main attraction. It was believed to be the largest of its species in the world and the only one living in captivity in the UK.

Mack had a single, long fin underneath its body, which rippled when he moved. Having very small eyes, which could only detect light from dark, the fish used electricity signals to navigate its way around.

The knifefish arrived at the aquarium in 2000 as a rescue fish when its previous owner found it too big to keep.

Giant Green Knifefish are usually found in Venezuela and don’t normally live as long in the wild as in captivity.

Executive Member for Adult and Community Services, Councillor Elaine Sherrington said: “Mack the Knife was a great asset to the aquarium and will be missed by the public and staff alike. He’d had a good life in Bolton, attracting many visitors, and staff were quite sad to learn the news of his death as he had been here for so long.”

The tank will be temporarily filled with some Brazilian Myleus Rubripinnis, otherwise known as red hook metynnis, until a permanent attraction can be found.

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Karen Spibey
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