Shock as goldfish discovered abandoned at Ipswich park
PUBLISHED: 10:45 23 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:16 23 December 2019
A number of goldfish are just the latest animals to be found abandoned at a popular Ipswich park.
The goldfish were found during a clean-up at Stonelodge Park, in a bid to clear the pond before the arrival of a protected European species.
It is feared that if left, the fish would eat the eggs and larvae of the great crested newts who also call the pond home.
Wildlife ranger Sarah Kilshaw said: "We really needed to remove these fish to make sure that the newts do not suffer.
"After a couple of brief attempts to catch the fish with a net, we began dragging leaf litter and branches from the pond and raked one of the fish out at the same time. After being checked over the fish was unharmed in his ordeal and was quickly placed in a tank to be taken to a safe pond where it cannot affect any amphibian populations.
"Although there are still a few fish in the pond, we are hoping to get back there soon and remove the fish before the newts return to the pond in spring to breed."
The fish are just the latest find inside Ipswich parks, with other abandoned animals found including guinea pigs, terrapins and snakes.
Among the most striking examples was a pair of boa constrictors found in Christchurch Park, which were handed over to unsuspecting police officers.
Parks manager Lisa Stannard said: "It's a shame and unsuitable that a few people abandon their unwanted pets in parks and open spaces - it might be a cliché but it is true that a pet is not just for Christmas.
"A lot of animals will not survive in the wild, others can pose a threat to native species."
The park's pond previously made headlines after extreme heat and storms during the summer saw a number of fish die, with a thick layer of duckweed starving the animals of light and oxygen.
Fish also suffered a similar fate in Kessingland, where a sluice blighted by a sudden drop in oxygen turned into the graveyard for a suspected more than 1,000 fish.
Britain's largest variety of newt, the amphibian has a bizarrely extravagant way of wooing each other - with male newts choosing to stand on their front legs, arch their back and wave their tail around in a rather odd rendition of dancing.
Any animals found lost in the park should be reported on 07736 826067.