The Agriculture Ministry received a complaint about the presence of a large predatory fish in a display pool at a shopping center in the south.

Inspectors called to the scene discovered a meter (3.28 feet) long alligator gar swimming in the small pool.

According to the complaint, a woman was bitten after she stuck her hand in the pool.

Alligator gars are a predatory fish which are among the largest freshwater fish in North America. Their name comes from the shape their heads, which resemble those of alligators. They grow up to be over six feet in length, though there have been reports of specimens of up to ten feet in length. Despite their size and large teeth, they do not generally pose a danger to humans.

It is illegal to keep these fish in Israel. Hagai Neuberger, Superintendent and Enforcement Officer in the Fisheries Division of the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, said: "It is important to mention that according to the fisheries regulations, keeping prohibited fish is a criminal offense. The possession of prohibited fish species constitutes a threat to the ecological diversity of Israel, and in this case a very tangible and clear danger to public safety."

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