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Rare eel from Bermuda discovered in West Bromwich canal

Photo: BPM Media

A rare eel has been discovered in a waterway in West Bromwich - after swimming 3,500 miles from Bermuda.

The five-foot eel - thought to be two decades old - was found in a canal after the water was scoured during a pollution incident.

It is believed the slippery creature may have swum thousands of miles from the tropical paradise of Bermuda to make its home in the Black Country.

The 5lb 10oz eel was discovered by workers from the Canal & River Trust charity, after nearly 200lbs of fish were rescued from the Ridgacre Branch Canal, near Carters Green.

John Ellis, national fisheries and angling manager at the Canal & River Trust, said:

Finding an eel this size is pretty amazing as its not something you see every day. I’m delighted we’ve had a chance to admire this wonderful creature.

Eels are such a fascinating animal, they start life as a little egg in the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda and make an epic 4,000 mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean to end up in canals and rivers across Europe and North Africa.

Once they enter in the canal they will spend their life growing and maturing before returning to the Sargasso Sea to breed.

– John Ellis, Canal & River Trust

Eels are protected by law and are capable of surviving for periods of time out of water and, according to legend, are capable of crossing land and damp meadows in their search for water systems.

Once eels have left the rivers to return to the sea to spawn, they stop feeding, and so have to rely on stored energy alone.

We have safely put the eel back in a nearby canal so it can continue exploring our wonderful waterways.

And if you’re really lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of it swimming somewhere near you.

– John Ellis, Canal & River Trust