The Great NZ Eel Competition

This is your chance to get yourself an amazing wild pet, and win NZ$500. The New Zealand longfin eel is the largest and oldest living fresh water eel in the world. But what you may not know is they make amazing wild pets. A small piece of meat placed in a creek will usually get a local eel coming in for an easy feed. Do this once a week a few times and your eel will become very tame. After a month or two and they’ll come right up to you.

So here’s what we want you to do. Visit your local creek and place a small piece of meat / mince / sausage in the water above a likely looking pool. Hide away from the water’s edge and wait about 15 minutes. If you see an eel come up and eat the meat, it is likely to be a local resident. And he / she can become your friend. Come back a week later and feed them again. In time the eel will get tame, and you can put the meat on the end of a stick to feed them. Take photos / videos of your eel, send them to us, and you can win $500. Here are the details.

Video Competition:
Send us a 2 minute video of your eel. $500 prize for the best video. Tell us about your eel and why it is awesome. Send us the video using ONE of the following 3 options:
1) Post it to youtube and email us the youtube link. Our email is
2) Send us the video from here and put in as the recipient
3) If the video file is less than 10Mb in size then you can simply email it to us here

Photo Competition
Take a great photo of your pet eel and give it a caption. $500 for the best photo / caption.
Email your photo / caption to

1) The eel needs to stay in the wild (not captive or caught in any way)
2) You cannot pick up or handle the eel
3) If you feed the eel it should only be meat
4) Do not over-feed the eels. Just once a week is plenty
5) Discourage people from catching our eels. They are Taonga and are best left in the wild

Some interesting facts about the Longfin Eel
They can live to over 100 years old. The oldest living animal in New Zealand is probably an eel!
At the end of their lives, they swim all the way to Tonga to breed
The eels breed only once and then die.
The baby eels drift on ocean currents all the way back to New Zealand. This takes about 18 months
Once the baby eels arrive in New Zealand, they work their way up creeks and rivers to find their new homes
Our eel numbers are declining due to hydro dams, commercial fishing, habitat loss and pollution
The Maori name for Longfin eel is “tuna kuwharuwharu”. Or often just called “Tuna”.

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