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Fish
The Star, May 22, 2012

Fish lodged in boy’s throat for 14 hours

By Leonard Phang

KUCHING --A 12-year-old boy had to endure the agony of having a 4cm-long fish stuck in his throat for 14 hours before it was surgically removed.

Philip Muan from Rumah Endawie Nangka Jela Engkari in Lubok Antu caught the ikan puyu (climbing perch or anabas testudineus) while fishing in a drain near Batang Ai with his 10-year-old brother at about 9am on Sunday.

He removed the hook and tried to bite the head of the fish to kill it but it slipped into his mouth and lodged itself in his throat.

His father Muan Burong, 40, a rubber tapper said his sons returned home when they failed to remove the fish from Philip's throat.

Muan took the boy to the Batang Ai clinic from where he was taken to the Sri Aman Hospital about 40km away. From there, Philip was rushed to the Sarawak General Hospital in an ambulance.

It was already 11pm by the time he arrived and the boy was spitting blood. The fish had by then died and a foul smell emanated from the boy's mouth.

The operation to remove the dead fish took just a few minutes.

The climbing perch is a hardy fish, which has a labyrinth organ in its head that allows it to breathe atmospheric oxygen. It can be out of water for about seven hours.

This article originally appeared here.

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton