Do you know how difficult it is to remove eel slime from your hands?
What I found was an enormous dead eel (1m long, 10cm thick) lying atop the remaining damp mud in one of the holes.
Having a keen interest in all nature’s treasures, I shoved my empty stubby under my arm, lifted the eel in both hands and trudged the 500m back home. My intention was to protect my precious find from scavengers and allow the ants and bugs to do their job, leaving me with an amazing skeletal specimen.
Arriving home, I filled a large tub with water in order to wash the drying mud from the eel and scrape off the eel slime adhering to my hands (damn difficult).
Immersing the eel, resulted in an immediate response of mouth gaping … from it and from me; and tail movement … from it.
Consequently, the tub with eel was carefully transferred to the foot well of our truck and taken on a short life-saving journey down to the river.
The slow sinuous body movement, on entry into the river, was in total contrast to the limp form originally draped over my hands.
It truly is an amazing feeling, knowing you have saved the life of a native creature so near to death.
— Patricia, Deua River Valley (IMAGE supplied)