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Giant sunfish stranded on beach rescued by fishermen in the Philippines

A rare giant sunfish found stranded on the shallow part of a beach was rescued by fishermen in the Philippines. The 200kg fish was lying on its side when the locals found it struggling to swim at a beach in Tubay, Agusan del Norte province on June 8. Due to its weight, the fishermen tied a rope around its body so they could help pull it back to the water to let it breathe before calling the rescuers for help. When the wildlife centre staff arrived, they took the animal with them for treatment as it had wounds around its left fin. Resident Catherine Nitsukara said: ‘I am very proud of my neighbours for helping each other save the poor animal. I feel the brotherhood in our village.’ Provincial Fishery Officer Rustico Ranoco said the animal was not yet endangered but classified as rare because the species only seldom appears on the surface for they live in the depths. He said: ‘Sunfish are not yet endangered but are rare because they can only be seen on few occasions. Large marine mammals that are wounded would usually approach the beach as if instinctively asking for help.’ The ocean sunfish or common mola is one of the two heaviest known bony fishes in the world. Adults could weigh up to 1,000 kg depending on their age. The species is native to tropical and temperate waters around the world.

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