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Giant sturgeon to be housed in Beijing Aquarium
Updated: 2005-03-02 09:50

A large sturgeon found in the Yangtze River last year would spend the rest of its days in the Beijing Aquarium, the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences (CAFS) said Monday.

The sturgeon, the oldest living vertebrate on earth for about 140 million years, lives mainly in the Yangtze River in China. [file photo]

The 360-cm, 432-kg sturgeon, the biggest found in China over the past two decades, was injured on its way to the upper reaches of the Yangtze to spawn.

As the oldest living vertebrate on earth, it has been around for about 140 million years. From October to November each year, Chinese sturgeons swim to the upper reaches of the Yangtze River to spawn.

After being rescued, the fish spent more than three months at a reproduction base in Jingzhou, Hubei Province.

The female sturgeon was estimated to be between 25 to 35 years old, and experts in Beijing are researching the sexual maturity of the fish. Sturgeons live up to 35 years.

It was not appropriate to free the sturgeon into the river because it might not survive for it old age, experts said.

The CAFS said the sturgeon would hopefully enhance people's awareness of protecting endangered species under State protection.

Experts said fewer then 500 Chinese sturgeons migrate to the upper reaches of the Yangtze for spawning each year.

The king sturgeon will be on display April 22, World Earth Day, but it has not yet been decided how and when the big fish will be shipped to Beijing.

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