Newcastle junior doctor finds mystery goldfish in garden and keeps it as pet

A goldfish in Dr Ben Beska's garden
-Credit: (Image: Ben Beska/PA)

A junior doctor has gone viral on social media after adopting a goldfish which he found lying on the grass in his garden, with "no idea" how it got there.

Dr Ben Beska, 33, from Newcastle, saw a group of magpies squawking in his garden on Saturday. When he went out to investigate, he saw a fish lying in the grass.

The NHS cardiology doctor retrieved the fish and placed it in a freezer drawer filled with water, as it was the only large container he had at the time. Locking the fish away from his two cats, Dr Beska purchased a tank from the nearest shop he could.

He has called the fish Alice, after he sent a text to a friend about the fish which was autocorrected from "It's alive", to "It's alice". His initial post of the goldfish lying on the grass has racked up more than 16 million views on X, formerly known as Twitter, which Dr Beska described as "bonkers".

He told the PA News Agency: "It’s pretty mad really, finding a fish on the lawn. I have no idea how it got in the garden.

Dr Ben Beska, who found a goldfish in his garden and is now keeping it as a pet
Dr Ben Beska, who found a goldfish in his garden and is now keeping it as a pet -Credit:Ben Beska/PA

"The thing that alerted me to something being outside was the magpies squawking in the garden, so I looked out the window and thought ‘why are they doing that? Then I saw this thing on the floor and I was like, ‘what the hell?’

"I went out and I was like, as if it’s an actual fish, so took a photo to send to my fiancé to say ‘how the hell is there a fish on the floor’, and then it moved – I couldn’t just leave it."

Dr Beska said the fish was "flapping" when he picked it up, before he found an old freezer drawer which he filled with water. He added: "It started to swim around so it was alive."

The goldfish in a freezer drawer
The goldfish in a freezer drawer -Credit:Ben Beska/PA

"I locked my cats out of the kitchen, obviously. I didn’t want them to eat it, that would have been a terrible end to the story."

He then went to a nearby shop and purchased a tank and some chemicals. He said: "I didn’t have enough time to research and Google things, because there’s a fish in the garden.

"I put it in the tank and it’s doing much better than it was on the lawn. I think it was seconds from death, so it’s a lucky fish."

Dr Beska's cat looks up at the fish which he found in his garden
Dr Beska's cat looks up at the fish which he found in his garden -Credit:Ben Beska/PA

Dr Beska suspects a bird had picked up the fish from a nearby pond and dropped it while carrying it away. However, he added that there are no ponds nearby, meaning it must have travelled a "reasonable distance".

The mystery of the goldfish has gone viral on X, with Dr Beska's original photo getting more than 150,000 likes and more than 4,000 comments. On his newfound Twitter fame, he added: "It’s very odd, I mainly use (X) for medical stuff, so this is very, very different.

"It’s been quite funny, some of the comments are quite funny and about 1,000 people said they thought a bird dropped it."

One X user has even created a separate account for the fish, with the username @alicebeska, which Dr Beska found "very funny". A post on the fish's X account reads: "Such a wild day, booked one of those @journeetrips and wound up in some northerner’s lawn? I would like a refund please."

Dr Beska now intends to keep the fish as a pet, and plans to buy a bigger tank and possibly another fish to keep it company.