BURNABY (NEWS1130) – Biologists will cut open the snakehead fish caught in Burnaby to examine what it has been eating and how long it had been in a pond in Central Park.

The snakehead fish is about two feet long. It’s shiny, black and has a long tail curled around its body.

News1130 reporter Andrea Macpherson went to see the fish. “I asked biologists if I could touch it. [It was] pretty gross and slimy.”

The biologists propped it’s mouth open to show how razor sharp the teeth are.

“So naturally, I put my hand in it’s mouth and felt those pin-like chompers,” describes Macpherson.

Researcher Cory Phillis figures the snakehead has been snacking on gold fish that were living in the pond.

“We will have a sense of what is in its stomach, but we don’t have that identified [yet], but most of the other types of samples will take weeks or months to have the data compiled,” explains Phillis.

Grad student Michael Beakes says they also hope to determine age and gender.

“Fish have these little ear bones, and they grow similar to trees, like tree rings. So you can actually age the fish,” notes Beakes. “Using the chemistry of those rings that are laid down, you can actually back-calculate what water and what food it was eating in certain points in its life. Hopefully the water chemistry in this pond is different from where it came from.”

He doesn’t think the fish has reproduced, adding a snakehead can only live to be eight-years-old.