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Escaped eel spotted slithering in gutter of Australian road

May 20 (UPI) -- An eel was spotted slithering through a gutter at the side of a road in an Australian city after apparently escaping from a nearby restaurant.

The longfin eel, a species native to New Zealand that spends most of its life in freshwater but breeds in the ocean, was spotted at the side of Mill Street near the Chinatown area of Adelaide.

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Witness Bory Thon captured video of the unusual scene.

The eels are a popular food item and are often kept alive in tanks before being served at restaurants in Australia, leading experts to speculate the eel in the video escaped from a nearby eatery.

Nic Bishop, Adelaide Zoo's animal behavior and creative program manager, told Australian Broadcasting Corp. Radio Adelaide that the eels are "good escape artists" with muscular bodies that can help them squeeze through tiny spaces.

Bishop said longfin eels are also able to breathe oxygen for short periods of time while moving between bodies of water.

Joshua Zugajev of SA Water said if the eel made its way into a drain it would likely end up in the storm water network, which is separate from the water supply and sewer networks.

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