Koi fish managed to survive half of its scales burned off for two whole days after it jumped out of its tank and landed on a floor with heating.
Its owner, identity not disclosed, had kept the golden-coloured fish for the past four years at their home in Shandong Province, in eastern China.
One day, whether out of habit or forgetfulness, the owner left the small aquarium without a cover.
After they had left the room, one of the colourful koi carp unexpectedly leapt out of the tank and landed on the floor.
Unable to move, it remained stranded there for some time and got severely burned by the floor heating.
The right side of its body which it lay on was completely scorched, revealing the pink flesh underneath.
It was later discovered by its owner, who, unsure of what to do, put it back inside the aquarium.
To their utter shock, it incredibly survived for an additional two days despite enduring such a severe burn.
In the end, the owner gave it a dignified burial, commemorating its four years of companionship and final resilience.
Koi fish, a colourful variant of the common carp (Cyprinus carpio), are known for their vibrant and diverse patterns. Originating from Japan, these ornamental fish are popular in ponds and water gardens worldwide.
Many netizens on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging website where a video of the injured koi emerged, wondered if it had endured serious pain before it died.
According to local media, a study published in the journal “Applied Animal Behaviour Science” has shown that fish can indeed perceive pain and react to it.
The study found that fish exposed to painful high temperatures subsequently show signs of fear and vigilance, demonstrating that fish can not only experience pain but even remember it.
Neurobiologist Dr Stephanie Yue stated that neurobiologists have long recognised that fish have a nervous system capable of understanding pain and reacting to it.
Fish, like “higher vertebrates,” have a nervous system that produces neurotransmitters containing substances like endorphins to alleviate suffering, she added.
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