Fish gets prosthetic eye to fight off other bully fish

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- A one-eyed fish became an easy target for bullies.

The rocketfish at the Vancouver Aquarium lost his eye a year ago when a cataract failed to heal.

Caretakers noticed other fish kept stealing his food and bumping heads with him, sensing weakness.

They decided to help him fight those bullies off, by giving him a prosthetic eye.

The surgery was the first of its kind at the aquarium, where caretakers said their main goal was to make all creatures comfortable and happy.

The prosthetic eye was designed for taxidermied fish.

Dr. Martin Haulena, who lead the procedure, said this type of aggression is natural for fish who prey on the weaker species in the habitat.

"We do find that when fish are blind from one eye and there's no visible eye then other fish kind of recognize that and they will attack from that side."

He says since the surgery, the copper rocketfish is "more robust" and a lot happier, even socializing with the other fish.


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