A nine-year-old girl in southern China sustained wounds after a violent encounter with a hungry freshwater monster of a fish.
The incident occurred while the girl was feeding fish in an ornamental pond in her residential community in Nanning, Guangxi region on Sept. 8.
A picture of the girl’s wounded hand has circulated on Chinese social media.
Following the incident, community officials launched a search for the culprit, according to East Day.
After 40 hours, they found the mysterious creature responsible for biting the girl: a one-meter, 10-kilogram fish native to North America.
It turns out that the creature is an alligator gar, a predatory fish that can live in fresh, brackish, or salt water.
Known as “living fossils,” alligator gars have retained certain morphological characteristics of their earliest ancestors, including a spiral valve intestine and the ability to breathe in both air and water.
The fish is distinguished by its torpedo-shaped body, ganoid scales — nearly impenetrable, bone-like scales — and sets of large, sharp teeth that impale and hold prey.
After the gar’s discovery, residents began to realize why smaller fishes appeared to decrease over time.
It’s unclear who placed the predator in the area.
“Who is responsible for this?”
“How did this get past customs?”
“The owner has no social morals.”
“It looks like a squid with the mouth of a crocodile.”