A giant eel, which was dumped in a crate with no water at Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium, is making a remarkable recovery.
The five-foot-long conger eel was left in a blue crate in the North Tyneside aquarium’s reception by a member of the public.
The anonymous person left before any member of staff could speak to them.
Blue Reef Aquarium’s Anna Etchells said: “We simply have no idea why this person decided to bring the eel in to us.
“It was lying in a large blue plastic crate with no water. Conger eels are capable of surviving for some time out of water so our aquarists immediately transferred it into one of our quarantine tanks.
“Amazingly it appears to have made a full recovery and has now gone on display in our native marine tank alongside another conger eel. In fact it’s settled in so well that it has even taken to sharing a pipe with our resident eel!
“We’re still unsure why it was left with us. It may have been caught by someone out fishing or perhaps spotted stranded on the beach or in a rock pool but that still doesn’t explain why they would bring it here and, more importantly, why it was out of the water,” she added.
The conger eel is the largest eel in the world reaching lengths of up to three metres and weighing anything up to 110 kg.
Found from Norway and Iceland in the north to Senegal and the Mediterranean in the south, the eels have been found both in shallow waters close to shore and up to depths in excess of 4,000 metres in the deep oceans.
During the day congers are found in holes or crevices on rocky or sandy bottoms and in wrecks and other artificial environments. They become more active at night when they leave their hidey holes to go in search of prey.