By Taniya Dutta
Jaw-dropping pictures show two Indian villagers hauling a giant Catfish weighing a whopping 125 kilos-more than a motorbike, tethered to a bamboo pole and a thick plastic rope on their shoulders.
The trophy-hunt that was biggest ever found in Himalayan river but illegally caught by villagers of Almora in hilly state Uttarakhand was sadly devoured before forest officials learnt about it.
Close-up shots of the fish’s large, bony head with moustache-like barbells more than a foot long show it gasping for air and wriggling.
However, it couldn’t be established how the powerful beast was captured as it is known to attack humans in water.
“We only came to know of the Monday’s catch after the watching the videos and pictures of the fish that went viral on social media.
“The fish could not be weighed as the villagers ate it. Based on people’s description and the video, we think it will be around 125 kg. The weight of the fish is unusual.
“That’s heavier than the ubiquitous 100 cc motorcycles in India and almost twice the average weight of its species: Himalayan catfishes of the Asian genus, bagarius bagrius, which grow up to 70 kilos,” said Almora divisional forest officer Mr Prajapati.
Based on the videos, four people were charged with unauthorised fishing in the river. They are said to be on the run.
Almora district magistrate Savin Bansal said: “We will take action on the basis of the fisheries inspector’s report.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has put this “near-threatened” species on its red list. The omnivorous fish can grow up to two metres and weigh up to 100 kg.