SANTA ANA (CBS) — A Colorado woman has discovered that losing your engagement ring in the muck of a zoo exhibit doesn’t diminish its shine, and can even add to it.

Sheila Clark had taken her daughter Isabel to Santa Ana Zoo and during a walk through the Amazon’s Edge exhibit, the unthinkable happened. While fidgeting with her ring finger, Clark watched her wedding band and engagement ring fly off and bounce onto the deck where she was standing.

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Clark managed to trap her wedding band. Then she watched her engagement ring fall into eight feet of watery muck.

“People drop things in here every once in a while – a hat, sunglasses,” Zoo Director Kent Yamaguchi said.

Dropping her ring may have been unlucky, but Clark at least got the timing right. The fountains and the moat of the exhibit had just been turned off and the exhibit’s watery depths were scheduled to be drained three days later.

Yamaguchi got the call Friday that, “if you’re going to look for it, look for it now.”

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Yamaguchi was sympathetic to Clark’s plight.

“If I lost my ring, I’d be devastated,” he said.

So Yamaguchi broke out his wading boots and waded into the muck. Just a short search later, he spotted a glint of gold.

Clark was thrilled to have her ring back and doesn’t even want to take it part with it long enough to have it cleaned.

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“Everybody’s life has a smudge, right?” Clark said. Pointing to her ring, she said, “this is our smudge.”