End of the line for Benson the monster carp

Tue Aug 4, 2009 1:18pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - British anglers were in mourning on Tuesday over the death of Benson, believed to be the country's largest common carp.

Benson, who weighed as much as a medium-sized dog, had been caught more than 60 times during its life and was described as a "household name" among keen fishermen, who would come from far and wide for the chance to catch it.

Weighing in at a massive 64 lbs (29kg), the golden brown carp was aged between 20 and 25. It was named after the Benson & Hedges cigarette brand because it had a cigarette-shaped hole in one of its fins.

The carp was found dead in Bluebell Lakes, near the town of Peterborough, central England, last week.

"It caught me by surprise, it has been a massive loss," Tony Bridgefoot, the fisheries' owner, told Reuters.

The cause of the death has not been confirmed, although there are suspicions the fish may have been poisoned by uncooked nuts, used by some anglers as bait.

Bluebell Lakes' online forum has seen dozens of anglers expressing their sadness about Benson's death. One angler wrote: "I know it is only a fish but it really is a very sad loss."

Benson, voted Britain's favorite carp by readers of Anglers Mail magazine in 2005, is now in a deep freeze waiting to be put on display.

(Reporting by Alex Wainwright, editing by Paul Casciato)