Thailand declares Siamese fighting fish as its national aquatic animal

Thailand has official declared the Siamese fighting fish as its national aquatic animal to boost conservation efforts and commercial breeding in the country. Known in the West as a betta fish, the underwater brawler is popular in home aquariums for its iridescent body and many-hued tail. It brings up feelings of nostalgia for older generations in Thailand – which changed its name from Siam in 1939. They remember a time when the fish were traded and sparred in childhood games. The Siamese fighting fish is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Thailand’s official national animal is the elephant.

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