Meet the Scots woman who discovered terrifying ‘Alligator-like’ fish washed up in Singapore



A Scot was left astonished after she found the washed-up remains of a fish like a ‘prehistoric’ alligator on the shore of a reservoir in Singapore.

Dr Karen Lythgoe, 31, who is originally from Glasgow but works in Singapore, made the startling discovery on the banks of MacRitchie Reservoir with her partner.

Speaking exclusively to The , Karen who works at the Earth Observatory of Singapore said: “We came across a group of people looking at something on the opposite bank. 

“It was too far away to see what it was, we thought it was probably a crocodile but didn’t seem quite right. 

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Picture; contributed. Credit, Michael Braim/Karen Lythgoe

“So we went off the path to get a closer look and once we realised it wasn’t a crocodile, we walked up to it. 

“We had no clue what it was, it was like something you would see in a museum.”

She added that she has been amazed by how quickly the story has picked up traction saying: “I was curious what it was and how it got there.

“I posted it on a great Facebook page of the Nature Society Singapore, where people post things to be ID’d. 

Picture; contributed. Credit, Michael Braim/Karen Lythgoe

“It was quickly ID’d by the community to be an alligator gar, which isn’t native so it had probably once been a pet. “ 

“When I checked Facebook the next day, the post had a lot of attention and was picked up by local news.”

”I can’t believe how the story has gone viral. It has really captured people’s imaginations and in Singapore at least it is a good thing to highlight the problems of invasive species.”

Picture Credit, Michael Braim

The Scot, who has lived in Singapore for 2 years and has her own blog about hiking in the country, said that despite her discovery, none of her colleagues have yet made Loch Ness Monster comparisons, but she is hopeful some will bring it up. 

She also confirmed that the Natural History Museum has taken the caress and photos to be used for educational and research purposes.

The city’s water agency (PUB) and National Parks Board have since released a joint statement saying that they had identified the creature as a gar, which is a native to the southern United States, 10,000 miles away, with the animal now believed to have been a pet that was released into the reservoir.  

The statement read: “The release of these animals will disrupt our delicate aquatic ecosystem and may also pose a risk to users of our water bodies.”

Karen’s initial Facebook post was shared over 1,800 times on Facebook. 


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