SLIMED by a GIANT EEL!


– [Coyote] Alright
guys, we’ve got an eel in this pocket of water. – [Mark] There it is, it’s
coming over around here. – [Coyote] Got it, yes! – [Mark] Yeah, whoo! – [Coyote] Whoa! Oh no! No! – [Mark] He’s still out,
he’s still out there. (energetic music) – As the sun sets upon the wild lands of Australia, a world of elusive creatures
slowly emerge from the shadows. And while most people
strive to avoid stumbling upon situations that
may involve such nightmares, the Brave Wilderness crew
is exactly the opposite. Well guys, as you can tell
from the lack of light, it is night time, but the
good news is that tonight we’re headed out to search
for some epic creatures. I’ve got my flashlight
and this giant net. You may be thinking
to yourselves, Coyote, are you in Costa
Rica heading back out after that giant freshwater
prawn that got away from you? No, no. We are in Queensland,
Australia and I’ve got one target species in mind. The Australian long finned eel. Mark, hop on off that platform
there and into the water. Come on now buddy,
the water’s nice. – [Mark] Oh it’s cold. – Yeah the water is cold, but that is perfect for
finding these fresh water eels, so if you guys are ready,
let’s head upstream and see if we can catch one. (water splashing) Alright guys we’re gonna
head up to the embankment because these eels are actually very sensitive to
light and sound. So the quieter we can be, the better chance we have
of actually finding one. So what we wanna do is
get up on the shoreline, move slowly, and periodically
peer down into the water to see if we can find an eel. I’ll tell you what, it’s gonna
be a lot easier to maneuver on land because these rocks
are incredibly slippery and the last thing we want is for you guys
to twist an ankle. Alright follow me. You know what I love about this, the cooler temperature
means no mosquitoes, and actually we
haven’t come across any mosquitoes yet in Australia which has been
really nice to work. – [Mark] Uh, I’ve
been bit a few times. – You’ve been bitten? – [Mark] Oh yeah. – Really?
– Yeah. – I have not even
seen a mosquito yet. – [Mark] Yeah but
you have that thing where mosquitoes don’t bite you. – And this is true guys,
I’m not often times… Actually I just saw a mosquito fly right pass the lens
of the camera there. I am often times not
bitten by mosquitoes and even when I am bitten
I have no reaction. So I kind of luck
out in that instance. Mark you’re usually
eaten alive aren’t ya? – [Mark] Yeah, unfortunately. – Traveling upstream under the darkness of
night was perilous especially for a camera team. Slippery rocks, deep drop
offs, and strong currents meant every step
of the adventure, was riddled with
environmental obstacles. The search for eels, and
their cryptic nature, is one of time and patience. These slime covered creatures
stay fairly nomadic, especially during times of
rain and rising water levels. So finding one usually
happens when you are in the right place at
exactly the right time. Which meant that I was always
ready to spring into action. Okay can we go upstream here? – [Mark] Yup, oh I see
it, I see it, I see it. (suspenseful music) – Got it, it sprang
right in the net! – [Mark] Yeah! – Look at that, whoo! Wow, how about
that for a tactic! – [Mark] (laughing) Yeah! – Stay completely still and
let the eel swim into your net. Wow, and that is
considered a small one, and it’s about a foot
and a half in length. Okay let’s bring it up to
the edge of this embankment, and take a quick look at it, we definitely have to
catch something bigger. But any eel is worth
taking a look at. Let me see, I’m gonna just… Whoo, it is strong,
it is slippery. Now they can give you
a pretty nasty bite, so I’ve gotta be careful here. – [Mark] Oh they have teeth. – They do have teeth. Wow look at that, look at that. It is just all over the place. Let me see if I can get
it with two hands here. Come here buddy. There’s absolutely no way
to hold on to this creature. It is like a slippery
water balloon. Actually I have a pair
of gloves in my pack, let me take those out. There is no way I can
hold on to that eel. I can’t even get
it out of the net. Give me two seconds here. Whoop, trying to get
outta the net there, I see him, getting the glove
on, getting the glove on. There we go okay. Holding onto it with the glove
is definitely much easier, and there you have it folks. That is the Australian
long finned eel. Look at the underside it’s
completely cream-colored, and it camouflages perfectly
into this environment. There’s absolutely no good way
to hold onto this creature, and honestly one that’s bigger
may be easier to manipulate. – [Mark] Beautiful animal. – Alright, well like I said
guys, this is a small one, we need to get
something much larger in front of the cameras. Okay I’m gonna gently set it
down here into the shallows. And there it goes. Alright guys, so far
we are one for one when it comes to catching eels. And look at my gloves, they are completely coated
in a thick layer of mucus. I feel like I’ve got
ecto plasma on me from the Ghostbusters like I’ve
just been slimed by Slimer. Let me wash some of this off. I think these are
gonna be the last time these gloves are used is
gonna be for this expedition. Alright, let’s keep moving. I consider the long finned eel to be a quintessential
river monster, and I knew that for this
animal to live up to that iconic reputation, we needed
an indisputable giant. Deeper into the
night we ventured. Flashlight beam scanning
the water’s surface, as our eyes peered through
the rippling current hoping to spot the slithering
shadow of a giant eel. Alright guys we’ve got an
eel in this pocket of water. It is moving water now this
is gonna be a difficult catch. Are you guys hot on cameras? – [Mark] Yes. – Right here, right here,
it’s starting to round. In this pocket man
it is hard to see. Oh this is gonna be
a tough catch guys. – [Mark] There it is, there it
is, right there, right there. – [Coyote] I see it, I see it. It’s right on the other
side of this rock. – [Mark] It’s not under it. – [Coyote] I see it, I see it. I’m waiting for it to come back, it’s underneath these rocks. – [Mark] Pick it up,
pick it up, pick it up. – [Coyote] Oh, I
missed it, I missed it. Where’d it go? It’s right by my foot,
right by my foot. – [Mark] There it
go, pick it up. – [Coyote] Is it going in there? Oh I missed it! – [Mark] No, no, no no. Where’d he go? – He’s right in these
rocks here somewhere. He might’ve gone down the
side of creak though, hold on. – [Mark] I don’t see it. – Hold on, hold tight, stay
in that pool, lemme look. I don’t think he came
down into this pool. Alright he’s in the
current, move down this way. The dizzying search carried
on for what seemed like miles and miles of river
as we continued to battle the onslaught of
environmental obstacles. Then when it seemed as if
our chances of spotting, and catching a giant eel had
disappeared into the night, my moment of anticipated triumph materialized from the shadows. Right on my foot, right
on my foot, hold on. – [Mark] There it is swimming
around here, come around here. You can set it up on land. – Got it! – [Mark] Yeah Whoo! – Yes, whoo! – [Mark] (laughing) Yeah! – Wow, up on land. That was a dangerous
maneuver, I almost slipped, but it went right into the net! Can you believe that! – [Mark] Yeah let’s go back
here on this flat land. – Man, that is an
awesome eel! Whoa! It is slippery guys, be careful. – [Mark] Back here. – Where back here?
– Yeah. – Okay, this is perfect, whoo! Yes, we got one! Wow! – [Mark] Priceless! – Dude, we got one. – [Mark] That was a long,
long time coming man. – Now, let me take
my pack off for this. Ha-ho buddy! Wow! That is a three hour expedition,
turned in with success. Let me introduce you to the
Australian long finned eel. There it is, come here buddy. Incredibly difficult
to hold onto, whoa! Oh no!
– Oh oh oh oh! Did you get it? – He got away, there he is. (water splashing) No! – [Mark] Be careful. – He’s still up, he’s still up. (water splashing) – Yes, yes,
redemption, redemption! You guys might remember the time that the giant fresh water
prawn slipped from my hands and got back into the river, not happening tonight with
the giant long finned eel. Okay let’s back up a little bit
further away from the water. Clearly they are too
slippery to hold. – [Mark] Gonna be okay? – Yeah, whoo! Okay, I promised it
was gonna be exciting. – [Mark] I was just
about to say man I had a flashback to the prawn. – Oh it’s getting away again,
it’s getting away again, no. Hold on I gotta
get it in the net. – [Mark] Put it in that net. Just, why don’t you
just pick that up, pick that whole thing up. Rinse it off, rinse it off. – Okay, time out, time out. – [Mark] Keep it up,
no need to put it down. – This isn’t funny anymore! – [Mark] It’s pretty
funny actually. (laughs) Alright, let’s back
all the way back. – All the way back!
– Yeah. Hey just to be clear, these eels can be on
land for quite awhile. – Yes. Alright let’s crouch down and get this under
control finally. I’m gonna keep the
net upright like this. Now fear not, these eels
can stay out of water for a substantial
amount of time, in fact, hours upon hours
because if they become stranded in a pocket and they want to
move to a body of larger water they can actually
crawl over land. And as you saw, he shot
up out of the river onto land to make an escape. They are extremely quick. Okay, I need to
rethink this situation so that I can actually
get it out of the net and then you guys can see it. Alright look it’s
staying still now. I’m gonna gently set that down. (sighs) Okay I do wanna
get it up out of the net so you guys can get
a good look at it. I’m trying to just let it
get acclimated and get calm. And actually one thing
we can look at first without me actually
picking it up, is where it gets it’s name. The Australian long finned eel. Look at this dorsal
fin that runs along the length of its body. I’m gonna very gently, Mario
you got an okay shot there? I’m gonna gently just
sort of peel that fin up. Can you see that? – [Man] Oh Yeah. – That is where the name
long finned eel comes from. Now there is a short finned
eel also here in Australia, they are quite a bit
smaller that this variety, and it is that long dorsal fin that easily distinguishes it
from a short finned variety. Now these creatures are
most active at night. Out right now hunting, and
they are veracious predators. Alright, come here buddy, let
me hold you up just a bit. I’m a try to get a
good hold on it there. All muscle, very powerful, and what they’re feasting on
is small fish invertebrates, they will even take things
like frogs and snakes if they can catch them. And an eel of this
size is about halfway to what they can
ultimately turn into. And at a maximum length
they can reach close to 10 feet in length and
weight about 50 pounds. Now here’s something
really interesting about the life cycle of this animal. It’s almost opposite
that of a salmon. So you know the salmon
swim out of the ocean, and up river to
do their spawning, these creatures actually swim
out of the rivers and creaks and back into the ocean
where they do their breeding. Now once they have breed, and
the smaller ones are born, they are actually called elvers, yeah kind of like
an elf, an elver, will then swim back
into the creek system where they’ll spend
several years growing to about this size. And like I said this
is about medium. They can grow to be about six feet length in
the river system and it’s really the
ones that become around in pockets of water that they can’t escape from they grow to that maximum length of around 10 feet
and 50 pounds, wow. – [Mark] That’s a
very healthy eel. – That is a very healthy eel, and you can see there are
two little sensory organs right on the front
of it’s face there, almost look like the barbells
on the front of a catfish, and they use that to sense
their environment vibrations beneath the water surface, and that helps them
detect their prey. Now they have the opportunity
to be ambush predators, or nomadic predators. An ambush predator is
something that waits for it’s prey to come to it, but based on the strength
and speed of this creature, they can easily chase
after something like a fresh water prawn or a fish. You’ll notice that coloration, that speckling green and black, drab olive allows it to
stay perfectly camouflaged within the shadows of the algae and amongst the rock
structures here in the river. Oh yeah you trying to
make a run for it, wow! And it is taking all of
my strength right now to hold this eel still. Wow, it is so powerful. You see that twisting
movement it’s making there? It’s just trying to get
itself out of my hands and back into the river. Whoo, alright let’s sit it down in the net there for a second. Oh, look at all that
mucus coating my gloves. Now you get a good
shot of the tail there? It’s like a big boar, and that’s
what allows these creatures to quickly propel their
bodies forward in the water. Make them move
downstream or upstream, and they can perfectly
maneuver their bodies, manipulate them around the
rocks, to fit in small crevices. And like I said earlier, up underneath embankments
and underneath flat rocks is where they will
hide during the day. Again this is primarily
a nocturnal creature, and sure enough it took us
being out here for three hours before we finally came across
one that was a decent size to get in front of the cameras. Wow, a little bit of patience, and a lot of persistence,
but it finally paid off as we got the Australian
long finned eel up close for the cameras
and what a catch that was. An initial catch, it
got out of the net, and then I got it a second time, redemption has been had for
the giant freshwater prawn. Guys this may have
been one of the most epic catches we have ever had. I’m Coyote Peterson,
be brave, stay wild, we’ll see you on
the next adventure. Alright buddy, now we can
get you back into the river. Great triumphs often
come as a result of unwavering determination. And when I finally managed
to get the long finned eel in front of the cameras, without it slipping
through my fingers, I felt an incredible
sense of accomplishment. In the end, as I gently
submerged this river monster back into the murky water,
and watched as it disappeared into the night, I was truly
grateful for the journey we had embarked upon and the
reward that became this episode on the Brave Wilderness Channel. If you thought my acrobatics to catch an eel
were entertaining, Make sure you go back and
watch the famous episode about the giant prawn
that slipped right
through my fingers. And don’t forget, subscribe so
you can join me and the crew, on this season of
breaking trail. – Did you just? – [Coyote] That did
not just happen.

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