Saturday, August 22, 2009
BABY FISH IN A HAUNTED PUB
The landlord of a haunted North Devon pub awoke this morning to find 1,000 extra fish in a tank donated to him by the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ), the world’s largest mystery animal research organisation.
Alan Lindsay, of the Farmers Arms, Woolsery, has been working with the CFZ’s Jon Downes on a special project to breed fish with a view to placing tanks in local educational establishments, schools and community centres, to illustrate biodiversity and the work of the CFZ. Last night Lindsay’s daughter, Clarissa, aged 11, noticed massive numbers of baby three spot Gourami (originally from the streams and ponds of southeast Asia) in one of the new fish tanks located in her dad’s pub. Earlier this year the pub made headlines across the world after a series of poltergeist incidents involving the landlady and some teenage waitresses, following the uncovering of an ancient well right in the middle of the building. But on this occasion it is fish experts, not ghost hunters, making a beeline towards the Farmers Arms.
“This is the fourth successful breeding we have witnessed this summer,” said Mr Downes. “This is excellent news as it means that we will be able to press ahead with our initiative to help local people and also to gain better, more expert knowledge. Already we have been able to place two tanks in the Farmers Arms and we are working with a local hospice to provide fish tanks as soon as possible,” he added.
Other species successfully bred include such unusual fish as Heterandaria formosa (the seventh smallest species in the world), and Girardinus metallicus (found only on the island of Cuba) The fish tank initiative is part of the CFZ’s outreach project, whose aim is to educate local people about the wonders of the natural world. At the recent Weird Weekend, the annual conference of the CFZ, held at Woolsery Community Centre, hundreds of people came along to hear a series of talks on mystery animals, rare species and the Paranormal. “It is a great feeling to be able to engage with the local community, give them the benefit of our expert knowledge and help people understand more about the world around them,” said Jon Downes, who celebrates his fiftieth birthday this weekend.
“We welcome enquiries from local establishments interested in finding out more about the fish tanks or about our outreach for schools.”
Posted by Jon Downes at 11:09 AM