A STROPPY stingray who picked a punch-up with a puffer fish left him needing emergency dentistry.

Clyde, a ten-year-old American stingray took a pop at Henry the African puffer fish in a scrap over food at Sea Life Adventure, on Southend seafront.

Despite being twice the size of the stingray, the poor old puffer ended up with a broken tooth, forcing Sea Life Adventure staff to carry out emergency marine dentistry.

David Knapp, curator at the centre, on Eastern Esplanade, explained: “Puffer fish teeth can grow back, but Henry’s was snapped off beyond the point where it would grow. We had to cut the rest of the tooth. They are both big fish but we weren’t expecting any trouble. The tank they’re in is very big, but we think Clyde has grown too big now.

“We have relocated him to an aquarium in Germany. Henry doesn’t seem to be any the worse for wear, even though he has lost one of his four teeth.”

Carrying out dental surgery on fish can be fraught with difficulties, but ten-year-old Henry’s surgery was successful – and painless.

An anaesthetic was pumped into the water in Henry’s tank and once he was comfortably numb, he was lifted out of the tank on a big, cloth-like net and laid on folded tarpaulin which trapped enough water around him for him to survive the procedure.