Four and a half months after an earthquake killed 181 in Christchurch, New Zealand, two more survivors have been found. Two goldfish were able to survive in their tank in the reception area of Quantum Chartered Accountants on Christchurch’s high street; they were found on July 6 when company director Vicky Thornley was allowed to return to her office, to collect belongings.
Hundreds of other pets were rescued in the two weeks following the quake though the two fish certainly win the record for surviving 134 days. According to Carolyn Press McKenzie, who runs the Huha animal sanctuary in Wellington, 115 dogs, cats, roosters and turtles have all found homes in Christchurch.
The fish were in a 26-gallon tank and had seaweed to eat and also algae that grew on the tank’s walls and rocks. Noting that goldfish are “very hardy critters,” Paul Clarkson, curator at the Monterey Bay aquarium in California, says that naturally growing bacteria may also have kept the water clean enough for them to live in. As the Guardian also points out,
There were six goldfish in the tank when the earthquake struck, but by the time the survivors were found, no trace remained of three of the fish. A fourth was found floating in the tank. Goldfish are, after all, omnivores.
The two surviving goldfish were “dull in colour” but otherwise healthy and Thornley has taken them home where her 5-year-old son, Joshua, named them Daphne and Shaggy and added them to a tank with his two other fish, Scooby and Fred. In a happy ending, the four are now swimming together.
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