August 6, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director
305-251-0400, ext. 84916 – Zoo Miami
ZOO MIAMI FISHING DERBY TO REMOVE EXOTICS A SUCCESS!
Zoo Miami, was happy to host 27 participants this morning at its summer “Fishing Derby” designed to remove exotic species from bodies of water on zoo property. Of the 26 fish that were caught, 7 were non-native peacock bass (which are actually an exotic type of cichlid), and 19 were Tilapia. The remainders were native largemouth bass which were released.
Working with partners from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and Bass Pro Shops, participants were provided with fishing poles and bait. The rest was up to them.
Our winner for the largest fish caught was 9 year old Sofia Sadir. She reeled in a peacock bass that measured 43cm and weighed 1068 grams! The winner for the largest Tilapia was Joseph Bevilaqua.
Winners and their families received a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Amazon & Beyond area where they got to meet the giant river otters and giant anteaters up close.
In addition to removing potentially invasive non-native species from the environment, all the non-native fish that were caught were fed to an Orinoco crocodile and the giant river otters so nothing went to waist. The fish provided enrichment for the animals as it ignited their predatory instinct and enabled them to demonstrate their natural behaviors in front of the participants.