Aug 18, 2022 Updated Aug 19, 2022
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Freshwater jellyfish were spotted in a pond at Shawnee Park in west Louisville.
The jellyfish have “stinging cells” on their tentacles used for feeding.
Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy said the jellyfish aren’t dangerous to humans, but they should be left alone.
Park officials said the jellyfish are likely also in the Ohio River, but much harder to find.
According to Indiana Department of Natural Resources, only one species of freshwater jellyfish (Craspedacusta sowerbyi) occurs in North America. The jellyfish are native to China, but there’s records of the jellyfish being in the U.S. since the late 1970s, according to Liz Winlock, Olmsted Parks Conservancy project manager
It’s the first time the jellyfish have been reported to be in the pond at Shawnee Park.
Jessica Holman, Olmsted Parks Conservancy director of marketing, said birds or plant life could have brought the jellyfish to the park pond.
“I didn’t realize it was going to be so many,” Holman said. “Once you see one, you start to see hundreds.”
The jellyfish are clear or translucent, and are about the size of a dime or nickel.
“There sometimes called peach blossom jellyfish,” Winlock said.
They are viewable from the walkway around the pond and although they are not likely to cause harm to humans it’s not recommended that anyone try to hold them. The current conditions in the pond have led to a growth in population of the jellyfish, called a bloom, which may have contributed to their recent discovery.
For more information on Shawnee Park and an upcoming walking tour through the park people can go to https://www.olmstedparks.org/our-parks/shawnee-park/
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