A couple in Washington state are animal-rescue heroes this week after the woman found a broken fish tank left by a dumpster.
Inside the tank, she found a scared and confused trio of critters, three exotic pets that someone had adopted and then abandoned in the garbage.
The three creatures inside the tank were an unusual species of salamander, called axolotls.
We’ve all met rescue dogs and cats, but these might be the only rescue axolotls we’ve ever heard of!
These little critters might not be as fluffy and cuddly as other rescue pets, but they certainly didn’t deserve to be put out on the curb with all the other garbage.
Fortunately, our heroes stepped in to save the day!
After she saw these poor babies languishing on the pavement in a busted tank, she immediately gathered them up and took them home to her boyfriend to give them the second chance they deserve!
Scroll through to learn more about these unusual cuties and their miracle rescue.
The man took to the photo-sharing site Imgur to tell the story, starting with the abandoned axolotls.
He explains that his girlfriend went out to the garbage collection point for the apartment complex and stumbled on a tragic sight by the trashcans and dumpsters: one large glass tank and a smaller wire tank had been put out with the garbage.
Someone even tried to hide them behind a broken television.
Inside the glass tank, she discovered three scared and confused axolotls.
These large salamanders are sometimes called “walking fish” and look similar to mud puppies, a kind of salamander you can find in the eastern U.S.A.
These unusual creatures aren’t too common, but they are beloved in exotic pet circles for their charming personalities and wide smiles!
However, anyone interested in axolotls should note that they are an endangered species in their native Mexico, and are illegal to import or export without a license.
It’s not clear how these little guys ended up in Washington, but they were certainly too distressed to smile.
The woman scooped up the tank and discovered another surprise underneath: a second tank.
In addition to the water-loving axolotls, the irresponsible pet owner had also abandoned another salamander who was hiding out in the bottom of the cage to escape the hot sun.
Immediately, our hero grabbed both tanks and took them back up to the apartment.
The couple was able to find a foster home for the fourth amphibian almost immediately — a roommate took a shine to the scared little creature right away, and immediately began to spruce up his cage.
Meanwhile, the axolotls still needed a place to call home, so their new dad fixed up their tank as best they could, then immediately began calling pet stores, looking for someone who could help them out with their unusual new buddies.
Before long, he was learning a whole lot about axolotl care and had purchased a new, clean tank with plenty of space for all three salamanders.
Now, all of the unusual and adorable creatures are happy as can be in their fancy new home!
They have a new, clean tank that is full of soft sand for their sensitive feet, which must feel like a blessing after the rough gravel they were left with in their old cage.
They have plenty of water, and a whole lot more energy! Here, you can see them checking out their space.
Not surprisingly, they’re all a lot more inquisitive and curious now that they have enough space to move around, not to mention clean water and plenty of food.
Their new pet parents are currently feeding them mealworms, but after tracking down an axolotl specialist, they plan to switch them over to a diet of earthworms.
The intrepid trio of survivors even have new names: Alpha, Omega, and Blue!
If you’re interested in learning more axolotls, you can check out National Geographic.
These creatures hail from one lake system in Mexico, and are unusual salamanders because they rarely leave water.
They make wonderful pets, but they’re a real time commitment, because they live up to fifteen years. They are also very unusual here in the United States, and for good reason.
They are critically endangered creatures, and it is illegal to import or export these amphibians without a license.
They are illegal in many states, and can only be acquired from a reputable breeder.
Perhaps the previous owner gave up on these guys because they were more of a commitment than he bargained for. These unique pets need special care and support.
All that really matters now is that they have found a new family that will give them all the love they deserve!
Was your heart touched by this surprising and sweet animal rescue?
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