It sounds fishy, but Jan Bailey insists it’s true: She saw a mystery fish fall out of a cedar tree — and it’s still alive.
The bizarre incident happened on Monday when Bailey, who lives in Vancouver, B.C., saw a rather unusual-looking reddish orange fish, a little more than nine inches long, dive out of a tree in her backyard.
Bailey’s husband was hooked and went over to the tree to investigate further and there, according to the Vancouver Sun, was the fish covered in cedar needles, but still alive.
After hauling out an old aquarium and filling it with water, Bailey started researching what kind of creature she was dealing with.
The fish seemed to match the description of a cichlid, an aquarium fish native to South and Central America and usually kept in indoor aquariums, according to the Regina Leader Post.
Employees at a local pet store confirmed the mystery fish was a Midas cichlid, but it is still a mystery how it got in Bailey’s cedar tree.
Cindy Wilkinson, Bailey’s friend and fellow fish rescuer, has one theory.
“Maybe someone was cleaning out its tank and left it outside for a minute,” Wilkinson told the Vancouver Sun.
Another friend, Lynda Taylor, who owns a koi pond, thinks the mystery fish was put in an outdoor pond for the summer and snatched up for lunch by a passing eagle that dropped it.
The fish, which has been named “Lucky” is now in Taylor’s possession and she has set him up in digs that are pretty cushy (for a fish, anyway): a small 30-gallon tank with pH-balanced water, plants and a bubbler to aerate his environment.
But this is just a temporary home. Bailey, Taylor and Wilkinson hope to reunite the mystery fish with its still-missing owner.
“It’s an unusual fish. I’m sure not many people have lost one of these things,” Wilkinson said, as reported by PracticalFishkeeping.co.uk.