Doctor goes viral after finding mystery goldfish in garden and keeping as pet

Doctor goes viral after finding mystery goldfish in garden and keeping as pet
Ben Beska found the goldfish in his garden (Ben Beska/PA)

A junior doctor has gone viral on social media after finding a goldfish lying on his grass with “no idea” how it ended up in his garden.

Dr Ben Beska, 33, from Newcastle, said he saw a group of magpies squawking in his garden on Saturday and went out to investigate when he spotted the fish lying in the grass.

Acting quickly, the NHS cardiology doctor retrieved the animal and placed it in a freezer drawer filled with water, saying it was the only large vestibule he had to hand at the time.

Locking the fish away from his two cats, Dr Beska visited his nearest aquatic shop and purchased a tank for the fish – who has now been named Alice after a text message he sent to a friend regarding the animal autocorrected from ‘it’s alive’ to ‘it’s alice’.

His initial post of the goldfish lying in the grass has earned over 16 million views on X, formerly Twitter, which Dr Beska said was “bonkers”.

“It’s pretty mad really, finding a fish on the lawn. I have no idea how it got in the garden,” Dr Beska told the PA news agency.

“The thing that alerted me to something being outside was the magpies squawking in the garden, so I looked out the window and thought ‘why are they doing that?’

“Then I saw this thing on the floor and I was like, ‘what the hell?’

A photo of Ben Beska standing in front of a mirrorBen Beska estimated the goldfish was ‘seconds from death’ (Ben Beska/PA)

“I went out and I was like, as if it’s an actual fish, so took a photo to send to my fiancé to say ‘how the hell is there a fish on the floor’, and then it moved – I couldn’t just leave it.”

Dr Beska said he picked up the “flapping” fish and found an old freezer drawer which he filled with water.

“It started to swim around so it was alive,” he said.

“I locked my cats out of the kitchen, obviously, I didn’t want them to eat it, that would have been a terrible end to the story.”

He then went to a nearby shop and purchased a tank and some chemicals, saying: “I didn’t have enough time to research and Google things, because there’s a fish in the garden.

The goldfish sitting in water in a freezer drawerThe goldfish, named Alice, spent some time in an old freezer drawer while Ben Beska purchased a tank (Ben Beska/PA)

“I put it in the tank and it’s doing much better than it was on the lawn.

“I think it was seconds from death, so it’s a lucky fish.”

Dr Beska suspected a bird had picked up the fish from a nearby pond and dropped it while carrying it away, but he said there was no ponds close by and thought it must have travelled a “reasonable distance”.

The mystery of the goldfish has gone viral on X, with Dr Beska’s original photo gaining over 150,000 likes with more than 4,000 comments.

On going viral, he said: “It’s very odd, I mainly use (X) for medical stuff, so this is very, very different.

A cat sitting on its back legs to inspect the goldfish tankBen Beska’s cat Willow inspecting the fish in its new tank (Ben Beska/PA)

“It’s been quite funny, some of the comments are quite funny and about 1,000 people said they thought a bird dropped it.”

One X user has even gone as far as creating a separate account for the fish, with the username @alicebeska, which Dr Beska said was “very funny”.

One post on the account for the fish reads: “Such a wild day, booked one of those @journeetrips and wound up in some northerner’s lawn? I would like a refund please.”

Dr Beska now intends to keep the fish as a pet, with plans to purchase a larger tank and possibly another fish to keep it company.

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