An enormous fish bobbing in the waters of Cape Cod is doing just swimmingly, officials confirm.
A police department in the coastal Massachusetts area is pleading with residents to please stop calling 911 about a fish.
The calls began early on Monday when shore-goers began noticing a monstrous sea creature apparently bobbing at the surface. Fearing it may be in danger, many went on to call first responders with the hope of saving the presumed defenseless fish.
Authorities with the Department of Natural Resources in Wareham, on the southeast coast of the Bay State, were sent to Buzzards Bay for a closer inspection, and quickly determined that the outsized swimmer was a perfectly healthy sunfish.
“We have checked on it, and it is doing normal sunfish activities,” the department said on Facebook. “It’s swimming. It is not stranded or suffering. The sunfish is FINE. Don’t be jealous just because it’s not swimming weather anymore!”
“PLEASE STOP CALLING THE POLICE DEPARTMENT ABOUT THIS SUNFISH!!” the department added.
Garry Buckminster, department director as well as Wareham’s harbormaster, told the Times that the fish can be startling, thanks, in part, to a dorsal fin that looks a lot like a shark’s when spotted from afar.
“When you see them coming along, it looks like this massive fin coming out of the water,” he said.
Many called simply out of an abundance of concern.
“We get it,” he said. “But 911 isn’t a good avenue to report fish that are swimming around.”
Sunfish, also called a Mola, are indeed a bewildering animal. Their oceanic species, the heaviest vertebrate marine fish, can grow to 11-feet long and weigh up to 5,000 pounds.
It’s not unfounded for the fish to become stranded in the coves of Massachusetts, said Carol “Krill” Carson, founder of the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance. She told the Times that her team has occasionally been called to rescue sunfish, which sometimes get lost during their southern migration.
That said, she urged locals who fear the worst for the fish to call her organization instead — not emergency first responders.
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