Alligator Gar in Tokyo river

29 Jun

Do you know what an 「アリガーターガー」 “alligator gar” is?

It’s a 「ワニ魚」 (“alligator fish”) native to Mississippi, America. I grew up in the south-eastern U.S. (in fact, I was born in Mississippi) but I never heard of this creature until today.

The 「アリガーターガー」 (alligator gar) is a carnivorous fresh-water fish that has the head (and teeth!) similar to an alligator.  They can grow to lengths of 1.8 – 3 meters (six to ten feet).

The freakish "alligator gar"

The reason I heard about the 「アリガーターガー」 (alligator gar) today is because a 1.5 meter (five feet) long 「アリガーターガー」 (alligator gar) has been seen swimming in the 呑川 (Nomikawa River) in 東京都大田区 (Oota-ku, Tokyo).

It’s assumed that someone purchased the 「ワニ魚」 (“alligator fish”) as a pet and set it free when it grew too big.

Due to the danger it poses to the fish, ducks, turtles, that live in the river (and, or course, to children that may be play in the river), authorities intend to catch the 「アリガーターガー」 (alligator gar) and give it to an aquarium.

6 Responses to “Alligator Gar in Tokyo river”

  1. Cross Lake Shreveport July 3, 2010 at 12:39 pm #



    • tokyo5 July 3, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

      Yeah. It’s a big, mean-looking fish.


  2. yuliana July 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    very strange animal … i’ve never seen or heard about it before..
    Tokyo is so unique that it has this alligator gar 🙂


    • tokyo5 July 2, 2010 at 12:44 am #

      There is an Alligator Gar in Tokyo now…but it’s not native to Japan.
      It’s native to the south-eastern U.S. (where I grew up), but I’ve never heard of this creature before either.


  3. tokyo5 July 1, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    >If you are swimming in the river…

    Actually no one in Japan swims in rivers. Swimming is done at the beach and pools (both of which have life guards on duty).

    When I wrote in this post:
    children that may be playing in the river

    I meant catching craw-fish, tadpoles, etc that kids in Japan (and elsewhere, I’m sure) like to do. Not swimming.

    But anyways, thanks for the comment.

    When you caught alligator gars, were you fishing?
    What were you trying to catch?
    What did you do with the alligator gar once you caught it?


  4. Donovan June 30, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    I have caught these in Texas (not on purpose) and they are very dangerous. They can live a long time out of the water and their mouth is full of razor sharp teeth. Also the meat is not good. If you are swimming in the river and you think you see a sea monster or a dolphin you better get out of there.


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