Fish with a funny float gets a CT scan at Denver Zoo


This image provided by the Denver Zoo on Monday, September 4, 2023, shows a CT scan of a French angelfish. A zoo worker noticed the blue and yellow fish was swimming with a tilt. The seven-inch fish was sedated, balanced on a sponge and had water poured over its gills to keep it alive as the CT scan took place. Inflamed intestines were causing increased internal gas affecting the fish’s buoyancy. Zoo spokesperson Jake Kubie said Sunday, September 3, that the fish was treated with antibiotics and is again swimming upright. (Denver Zoo via AP)

DENVER — A fancy-looking French angelfish that was found one day with a funny float has its buoyancy back after taking some time from its tropical trappings to get a CT scan at the Denver Zoo.

A zoo worker recently noticed the blue and yellow fish was swimming with a tilt, prompting a visit last week to the facility’s on-site hospital for an ultrasound and a CT scan.

The CT scan took place in a machine large enough to fit a 700-pound (318-kilogram) grizzly bear, so some special accommodations were required, zoo spokesperson Jake Kubie said. The approximately seven-inch (18-centimeter) fish was sedated, balanced upright on a sponge, and had water poured over its gills to keep it alive as the scan took place.

The diagnosis: Too much gas. Enteritis, or inflamed intestines, had resulted in increased internal gas that was affecting the fish’s buoyancy, Kubie said.

“It was treated with antibiotics,” he said. “It’s doing much better and swimming normally.”


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