Feline and fishy tales: Dutch cat and carp travel long distances

A cat which never returned from a rooftop stroll in Tilburg in August has been found in Austria, regional broadcaster Omroep Brabant reports. It is thought the animal made the journey in a truck.

A hunter found the cat in the countryside near Vienna and took the emaciated animal to a vet who found that it was tagged with a microchip. He then contacted owner Franka Schapendonk.

‘Pepper disappeared six months ago and I went out and called him for two months.  I couldn’t believe he had been found at first,’ an astonished Schapendonk told Omroep Brabant. ‘But they sent photos and I could see right away it was Pepper. I was so happy.’

Schapendonk is now making arrangement to collect the cat and bring it home.

Fishy story

Meanwhile, the Parool reports on a carp with a penchant for travel which made its way from Amsterdam’s Beatrix park to places as far afield as Enkhuizen and Haringvliet.

Number 998-23, as he is affectionately known, has swum a distance of 209 kilometres ‘an astonishing feat’ incredulous fishermen told the Parool.

Catches are often reported and by extrapolating them experts concluded the fish, which has been caught eleven times since 1998, had covered an exceptional distance.

Carp are known to extend their territory and may turn up 100 kilometres from their original spawning ground but it is the first time a carp has travelled this widely. It is thought that so-called ‘fish passages’ at sluices have made the journey possible.

998-23 was part of a batch of farmed carp released in Amsterdam in the late 1990s. He now measures 81 centmetres, or double his initial length, and weighs 11 kilos.

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