Santa’s sprouts’ treat

Santa Claus paid a surprise visit to Bristol Aquarium to deliver some unusual gifts in the shape of Brussels sprouts to some of their aquatic residents.

Father Christmas dropped in to help hand feed the inhabitants of the Harbourside attraction’s open-top Amazon display.

The 60,000-litre freshwater display is home to a variety of pacus, catfish, oscars, plecs, turtles and terrapins all of which have been donated to the aquarium after becoming homeless or outgrowing their original tanks.

The sprouts proved to be a big hit with the aquarium’s giant pacu who quickly gobbled them up. More surprisingly perhaps they also attracted the interest of several of the freshwater turtles.

Giant pacu are one of the largest freshwater fish in the world and can reach weights in excess of 35kgs.

Originally from South America, they are often described as vegetarian piranhas as, unlike their infamous cousins, the pacus’ diet is made up almost exclusively of fruit and nuts.

Bristol Aquarium’s Sarah Moore said: “It was very considerate of the big man to spare time out from his hectic festive schedule to pay a visit to the aquarium.

“He certainly made quite an impression on the pacus who were almost literally eating out of his hand at one point.

“It’s also nice to see the much-maligned sprout proving to be quite so popular for a change, they’re packed full of nutrients that are great for our creatures” she added.

Over the festive period the aquarium is running a series of special events including 10 different daily talks, feeds and workshops throughout the festive period as part of their ‘Merry Fish-mas’ celebrations.

Visitors can enjoy a huge variety of events ranging from behind the scenes tours and craft workshops to fish feeding demonstrations, you can even see how their food is prepared – be warned though squid is on the menu!

For younger visitors there’s the chance to try and spot the aquarium’s giant cuddly costume character Charlie the Clownfish dressed in his Santa outfit and enjoy story time with a selection of Christmas inspired fishy-themed tales.

For more information please contact Sarah Moore or David Waines on 0117 929 8929.