(Photo courtesy Penninsula Humane Society & SPCA)

Fish found in the mail now available for adoption in Bay Area

Postal workers may often spot suspicious items in the mail, but one recently came across a package that was fishier than others.

A box containing Umbee Cichlids, a species of tropical fish that are semi-aggressive and can grow up to 1.5 to 2 feet long, was intercepted while en route from Bel Air, Md., to Hawaii after the Post Office noticed the box was damaged and that several of the fish inside the box had died, according to the Peninsula Humane Society.

After the owner of the fish was contacted, the 20 fish that survived were brought to the Peninsula Humane Society, where they are now available for adoption.

“While not a good practice, it’s not actually illegal to ship live animals through the mail system,” humane society spokesperson Buffy Martin Tarbox said in a statement. “However, we do not recommend doing so since it’s not a safe way to transport animals.”

Umbee Cichlids are native to South America and have a life expectancy of 6 to 10 years, according to the humane society.

The adoption fee is $5 per fish, and it is recommended that owners experienced with this breed adopt the fish.

Those interested in adopting the Umbee Cichlids may visit PHS/SPCA’s Center for Compassion at 1450 Rollins Road in Burlingame. The Center for Compassion is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends.

The adoption fee is $5.00 per fish and they are recommended for owners experienced with this breed. The fish are available for filming by news cameras.

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