Bottoms up for pub fish

PUBLISHED: 13:15 08 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:27 10 June 2010

Friday, August 8 : TANKED-up drinkers finishing the night facing the ceiling isn t unusual; but seeing a pub s pet fish swimming in it s tank face up would make even the most restrained drinker think they had one too many.

TANKED-up drinkers finishing the night facing the ceiling isn't unusual; but seeing a pub's pet fish swimming in it's tank face up would make even the most restrained drinker think they had one too many.

Soon after landlord Liam Matthews, 53, and his wife Christine of Lympstone's Globe Inn bought the goldfish - inevitably nicknamed Oz by pubgoers - in 2004 it began swimming upside down; and has done so ever since.

"For the first six months she swam like any other goldfish but then one day she was upside down.

"She seems happy enough - as far as you can tell with a fish," he said.

Oz, who has become something of a celebrity, shares a tank with probably rather perplexed black and white companion - who swims the right way up.

He said: "It's quite funny to see one swimming the right way while the other is going round the tank upside down."

Oz came to prominence after the Matthews' were visited by the RSPCA after an anonymous caller expressed concern about Oz's welfare - but they have been assured that Oz's different perspective is down to a rare bladder problem, and appears to be perfectly content.

He added: "The inspector told us the fish didn't seem stressed at all. It's crazy that we had a complaint about our fish - she seems to be having a great time.

"We've had her checked out and she's in good health - I suppose she just likes to see the world from that point of view.

"She swims quite fast. She is very fit and she eats her food upside down. Everyone around here knows about her - she's a bit of a legend.

"She is a great attraction, particularly with children."

Jeremy Smale, a tropical fish expert, said: "Swimming upside down can indicate a problem with the swim bladder but it doesn't mean the animal is any distress.

"It might be worth the vet having a look but to be honest it is probably very healthy. I wouldn't expect it to be in any pain at all.

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