Despite well-meaning campaigns, and perhaps a little social progress, bullying is rampant in schools (and unfortunately, well into adulthood). It would be nice to write this behavior off as a result of hormones and middle school simply sucking. But there may be more to it than that… And as much as we hate to make biological arguments for anything, there must be some natural selection at play. Even fish, who have never experienced the torture of having braces at a middle school dance, get bullied. Such was the case Kiwi, a lime green saltwater fish who had to have his eye removed after a cataract surgery. But, thanks to his dedicated owner and vet, Kiwi got a special makeover.
Kiwi’s owner told KTVI that after Kiwi lost his eye, the other fish in his tank began to attack him.
“They figured out which eye was not working,” Julie Morgan said. “They’d go up behind him, biting his tail. He had chunks of his tail taken out.” Morgan admitted that Kiwi was her favorite fish, so she quarantined him for safety.
Kiwi’s vet, Megan Baebler of Kersting Veterinary Hospital, decided to craft him a fake eye… Which we suppose is the fish equivalent of Invisalign for middle schoolers.
Turns out, making the eye was no small task. “I actually hand-painted the eye myself,” she told KTVI. “I used a mixture of some nail polish and some eye shadow pigments, actually, to give it some iridescence.” Sometimes, a little makeup really does the trick.
Kiwi underwent a surgery to have the eye implanted, and his quality of life has drastically improved.
A little anesthesia and thirty minutes later, the little bullied fish had a shiny new eye. And confidence (we hope). And before you scoff at Morgan’s attempt to help her fish’s social situation, have a heart. “A lot of other people would say, ‘Yes, put him down. Go ahead, it’s just a fish,'” she said. “Well, my opinion is nothing is just a something. And if I could give him quality of life, why not?” Amen to that.
And, thanks to Morgan’s efforts, Kiwi will be rejoining his tank soon.
We can all relate, Kiwi. Best of luck. (h/t buzzfeed)