'Wheelchair' helps wobbly goldfish stay upright

  • 16/03/2017
The wheelchair goldfish (Taylor Nicole Dean/Twitter)
The wheelchair goldfish (Taylor Nicole Dean/Twitter)

A Texas goldfish unable to keep itself upright has been gifted a "wheelchair" made of tubes and Styrofoam.

Taylor Nicole Dean, a 19-year-old who makes animal videos on YouTube for a living, last week tweeted a picture of the lucky recipient.

"A customer brought in a goldfish with a permanent bladder disorder," her friend Derek explained.

Derek, 20, works in an aquarium, and is friends with Taylor.

"I made him a custom wheelchair and he loves it," said Derek. "Wasn't able to hold himself upright and was stuck on the bottom. Not anymore!"

The fish has a faulty swim bladder, making it difficult to control its buoyancy.  The first 'wheelchair' was made out of tubes, with valves at the bottom acting as a chair. The second wheelchair added a piece of mesh for comfort.

"I added weights to the bottom of the 'chair' and something to keep him afloat on top, and slowly removed pieces until I achieved just the right buoyancy to make it easy for him to swim around without feeling like he's dragging around a chair," Derek told Buzzfeed.

"Think of goldfish as the pugs of the fish world. Pugs have unique features due to the way they were bred, but it also causes them a lot of medical problems - same with goldfish."

Taylor later said she hoped US President Donald Trump saw the wheelchair fish.

Her initial tweet has been retweeted more than 26,000 times.