Killer catfish becomes a celeb
31/07/2003 08:53 - (SA)
Germany - "Kuno the Killer Catfish", a giant puppy-eating silurid, has become an international star a week after its untimely death in Germany, authorities here said on Wednesday.
The 1.5-metre-long whiskered wonder made headlines in 2001 after reportedly devouring a small dachshund that had gone for a swim in the pond at the public gardens of this western city.
The rumours of his appetite and substantial girth - 35 kilograms at the last count - put him at the top of the most-wanted list of the Moenchengladbach-Rheydt Anglers Club and drew thousands of curious onlookers to the park.
But for two years, Kuno remained the one who got away. Until last Thursday.
A slimy heavyweight believed to be Kuno went belly up after an enduring drought lowered the water level of the pond.
As news of its death began to spread, calls began flooding in from around the world at the Moenchengladbach city hall looking for information and pictures.
"The fish has become a mascot for Moechengladbach," said a city spokesperson, who has taken calls from as far afield as Tokyo and New York.
Kuno is now to be stuffed and mounted at the local Schloss Rheydt museum.
Beyond his size and tastes, Kuno was also unusual for appearing in a pond so shallow - only 60 centimetres deep at its normal level.
European freshwater catfish normally feed on other fish, frogs, crabs, ducks and rats.