August 26, 2009

Another goldfish lives hours out of water

A British woman says her goldfish jumped out of its tank and survived on a stone floor for seven hours -- the second such tale out of England in recent months.

Paula Dunster, 46, of Redcar, England, said she noticed Sparkle, her 18-month-old goldfish, missing from the tank he shares with another goldfish and was stumped when her partner told her he did not remove it, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

We didn't know what had happened really, but I thought I would get another fish because the other one was on his own, she said. The man in the pet shop told me he might have jumped out of the tank so when we got back home, I looked behind the dresser that the tank was on and I could see him, absolutely covered in dog hair and fluff.

Dunster said Sparkle began breathing while she was washing him under a tap.

I was really shocked, and my daughter said it was a miracle. It had been down there for so long covered in all of the hair, Dunster said.

But Sparkle apparently doesn't even hold the British record for a goldfish living without water. Last December, Barbara Woodward, 61, of Gloucester said her goldfish survived at least 13 hours after escaping its tank, The Sun reported at the time.

A spokesman for the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, England, said such survival stories are possible but unlikely. He said a fish may survive with a coating of water by lowering its metabolic rate.