Japanese Koi at The Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo Casino, LV

I took these pictures on 03/08/2011 within the outside Wildlife Habitat located at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. There must be at least 30-40 of these beautiful fish throughout the habitat ponds and waterways.
Description: Koi are ornamental versions of the common carp species. They originated in China and then spread to Japan and have been cultivated mainly there ever since. The word “koi” is Japanese for carp, and the word “nishikigoi” means ornamental carp. It was in the nineteenth century in the Niigata prefecture of Japan that koi breeding emerged. According to history and legend, the farmers of that prefecture noticed colourful carp varieties in their rivers, that they were more easily snapped up by the birds because of their attractive colors, and began breeding them. Over time, a classification system developed according to their color variations and qualities, and now, there is an accepted categorization by which koi varieties are known by. There are approximately 30 different varieties of koi. Depending on the quality of their colors, rarity, patterning and sheen, the price of koi vary from a few dollars, to thousands of dollars each.
Apart from their beauty and sturdiness as fish, koi has become legendary because of the fact that they can grow to very large sizes, and are limited relatively by the size of the pond that they reside in. They are also renowned for their ability to live very long years. There’s a story about some koi found in a pond in the mountains of Mino Province of Japan, where upon some scale samples of the fish were examined by Prof. Masayoshi Hiro in the 1960s and it was concluded that, to his surprise, that the koi was estimated to be 215 years old. I suppose we’ll never be sure of how accurate this is, as it was based on light microscope studies at the time.