AN antique skeleton of an endangered species of fish has been stolen from a pub near Kirkby Stephen.

The bill, belonging to a Sawfish was stolen from the bar area at the Black Swan in Ravenstonedale on March 20.

The owners of the pub are ‘shocked’ that this has happened, after eight years of ‘no bother’.

Louise Dinnes, who runs the pub with her husband Alan, said: “This pub is our home, we never have any bother here, we have lovely customers and it is such a shock that this has happened.”

Mrs Dennis has been told that the sawfish could be worth up to £10,000 and the unique item also holds sentimental value to the couple. It was given as a gift to Mr Dinnes’s mother when she visited Singapore many years ago.

It is described as being four feet long and approximately ten inches wide with sword like teeth either side along its entire length.

Mrs Dinnes said: “It must have occurred between 5.30pm and 8pm that evening. All our staff were at the other end of the bar as we were getting some work done at the end where the sawfish was. Nobody saw anything suspicious.

“It was quite a quiet night, we can’t believe it happened under our noses. It is quite a big item and the person would have had to unscrew it off the wall.”

Sawfishes, also known as carpenter sharks, are a family of rays that are characterized by a long, narrow, flattened nose extension, lined with sharp teeth, arranged so as to resemble a saw. They are now classed as an endangered species.

“We believe that the sawfish was targeted, that the person who stole it knew the value of the item. The species of fish is endangered now so you cannot buy this type of item these days,” Mrs Dinnes added.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC Nick Hodgkinson on 101.