Endangered Sturgeon Spared for Hefty Sum

A woman paid nearly $10,000 to rescue a fish

A rare fish was freed for nearly $10,000.

A big fish was spared from the dinner plate this week when a kindhearted woman paid to free it, even though it cost nearly $10,000.

According to Shanghaiist, a fisherman named Bai Wenjie caught a giant fish this week in China. It was six and a half feet long and weighed 585 pounds, and the fishery department identified it as a female kaluga, a river sturgeon that can live to be 38 years old and is reportedly the world’s largest freshwater fish.

"The fish is very strong, I've never caught such a big one before," Bai Weijie said.

The kaluga is also endangered, having been hunted to near extinction for its roe. Luckily, this one was not destined for the table, because a woman named Dai Hongjuan heard about its capture and bought it for 60,000 yuan, or $9,766. Then she set it free.

"I've never seen such a giant fish like this before," Dai said. "I simply do this for an ecological balance and protecting wild animals. I ask for nothing in return."

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Dai reportedly set the giant fish free in a nearby river. With any luck, it will avoid running into other fishermen looking for a big payout.