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Birds, Wildlife and Gardening

A creature of mystery: New Zealand’s love-hate relationship with eels

<p>Native species have been revered, feared, hunted and tamed. Now experts hope revulsion can give way to fascination</p><p>For many years, the top-rated attraction in the Tasman district of New Zealand was a cafe famed for its rural setting, seafood chowder – and tame eels.</p><p>For a few dollars you could buy a pottle of mince and a wooden stick to take down to the stream, where a blue-black mass was shining, writhing, waiting.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/aug/30/me-my-father-and-sex-life-of-eels-patrick-svenssons-shock-at-hit-book">How the mysteries of the eel’s sex life have inspired a bestseller</a> </p><p>Eels have survived the ice age and continental drift, they have been around for 50m-plus years</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/18/new-zealand-marine-heatwave-looms-following-warmest-winter-on-record">New Zealand marine heatwave looms following warmest winter on record</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/24/a-creature-of-mystery-new-zealands-love-hate-relationship-with-eels">Continue reading...</a>

Native species have been revered, feared, hunted and tamed. Now experts hope revulsion can give way to fascination

For many years, the top-rated attraction in the Tasman district of New Zealand was a cafe famed for its rural setting, seafood chowder – and tame eels.

For a few dollars you could buy a pottle of mince and a wooden stick to take down to the stream, where a blue-black mass was shining, writhing, waiting.

Related: How the mysteries of the eel’s sex life have inspired a bestseller

Eels have survived the ice age and continental drift, they have been around for 50m-plus years

Related: New Zealand marine heatwave looms following warmest winter on record

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