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'.1 STRANGE FISH AT THE ZOO. Amongst the literally strange fish recently added to the curiosities of the Zoological Gardens at Regem'c- park are two excellent specimens of the Sly Silurus (silurus glanis). The name, according to Pliny, was butowed upon this fish because of its cleverness in sucking away the bait without being caught by the hook. Some twenty years ago there was a good deal of talk about acclimatising the fish in British waters, but fortunately for the indigenous tenants of our streams, nothing came of the project. Mr. Francis Francis in his grounds at Twickenham conclusively proved that the species would live here. Now and then small specimens are brought to this country as curiosities and put into the household aquarium. On no account, however, should these fish ba turned into any of our rivers. They are most voracious feeders and would devour not only the food required by our own fishes, but the fishes themselves. Commercially they are of little value. In some parts of Northern Europe, but more especially in the basins of the Volga and Danube, the flesh is dried and a kind of lard is made from the oil. To us the sly silurns would be neither useful nor ornamental. The pair of big ex- amples which may now be studied in alarget.ank in the new reptile house at the Zoological Gardens were brought from the Mirqnis of Bath's estate in the West of England. Thither they were placed, infants of sevtn inches in length, thirteen years ago. In the interval they have grown to ugly curiosities of some eight-and-twenty pounds apiece. They have more- over eaten up his lordship's trout, and have therefore been expelled. They are in every way a welcome addition to the interesting objects of the new reptile house. The only representative of the siluroid family in Europe, the sly silurus is also the largest of Euro- pean fresh-water fishes. There is a story extant of a specimen taken in Hungary with a woman's body inside; and the chroniclers aro always careful to state that the marriage ring was found on the finger, and a purse of money at the girdle of the unfortunate lady. In the too small fish-house which the Council will, it is to be hoped, some day replace with a worthier building; unusually bright samples of the salmo fontinalis, or American brook trout, have been recently placed. This is not a trout in reality, but a char, beautifully mottled. The fontinalis has been introduced into many English streams with dis- appointing results. When placed in lochs, or other suitable homes, it thrives well. Amongst the recent additions in the gardens, to which the term "strange fish" may be figuratively ap- plied, are the New Guinea Birds of Paradise in the parrot house. At present they are in perfect plumage, and therefore in a condition of health which warrants a hope that they may be preserved. ► Some rare eagles have also been acquired within the past fortnight. Very good work indeed has been done by the Zoological Society of late. The rearing:of Sally, the female chimpanzee, purchased at Liverpool when she was quite immature, is a subject of much satisfaction. The marvellously human attributes of this anthropoid ape were described in the Daily News soon after her arrival in the gardens in the autumn of 1883. Mr. A. D. Bartlett, the able superintendent of the popular establishment, has long studied these apes, and from his observations of number of speci- mens, both living and dead, he has come to the con- clusion that Sally is Lot a common chimpanzee. He has therefore classified her as Troglodytes caluus. A life-size portrait of her appears, with a fall textual description, in the "Proceedings of the Zoo- logical Society," June 16th, 1855. Sally, who is a general favourite, will not be found in the monkey house, but in the establishment set apart primarily for the anteaters. An anaconda, lately imported from South America, should be noticed by visitors who go to make acquaintance with the sly silurus. This fine serpent is 20 feet long. The new reptile house has proved to be a splendid in- vestment of the extra receipts brought to the society's treasury by the sale and departure of the late lamented Jumbo. The blankets with which the keepers used to conceal the serpents having been abolished, the reptiles share with the visitors the advantage of the change. They are tamer, in better condition, and always in evidence. Another strange fish of the figurative order is the rare animal called the Tasmanian wolf. Very few even of the in- habitants of that charming island south of Bass's Straits have ever seen it alive. A more correct, if less convenient, name for it is the dog-headed thy- lacinus, or zebra wolf. It is the thylacinus cyno- cephalus of science, and has the peculiarity of par- taking of the characteristics of both carnivora and marsupials. To this extent it differs from any of the Australasian marsupials, though it strictly belongs to them. Another house is to be opened immediately on the site of the old reptile house for the reception of the smaller cats, such as ocelots and tiger cats. The news of Jumbo's tragic fate was received naturally with sorrow by his human friends at the Zoo. The Council were perfectly justified in getting rid of him, but everybody regretted the necessity. Jung Pasha, the Indian elephant presented by the Prince of Wales, is now almost as big as Jumbo, and being only 15 years old, is still growing. He is a most tractable and clever beast. As for Alice, upon whom so much absurd gush was wasted, she is for sale for JE200, and in the interests of the gardens her room is more desirable than her company



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