Gary the Gourami fish loves a kiss

Staff at a Sea Life centre are giving new meaning to the phrase "trout pout" as they offer visitors a kiss from a fish.

The amorous fish, named Gary, has become popular with visitors to the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary in Norfolk because of his constantly pouting lips.

Women working at the centre have developed the ritual of bending down to return a kiss through the glass each time they pass his tank.

Gary, a giant Gourami from Indonesia measuring nearly 28 inches long, never fails to return the gesture.

General manager Nigel Croasdale said: "They don't seem able to go past Gary's tank without stopping for a quick smooch, and Gary seems to love it."

Gary is one of several waifs and strays currently on display at the centre.

He was brought to the sanctuary by a member of the public who had kept him as a pet but became overwhelmed by his appetite - he would guzzle a leftover Sunday dinner every weekend.

The freshwater species is a popular food fish in India but many people keep them as pets. Giant Gourami are one of the most common species requiring rehousing from home aquariums.

"They are often found in pet shops measuring just a few inches long, and people buy them without realising how big they grow, and how quickly," said displays supervisor Kieran Copeland.

The sanctuary is supporting The Big Fish Campaign, launched by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, in an attempt to deter shops from selling the so-called "tank busters".