NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Crane lift for eel as 'love congers all' in Macduff

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionRip the conger eel was released from Macduff Marine Aquarium

A 6ft conger eel has been released into the wild so he can find love after a lifting operation involving a crane.

The conger eel, called Rip, left Macduff Marine Aquarium in Aberdeenshire to swim to the Atlantic.

Staff said he had become restless, a typical sign that the time had come for a 2,000-mile migration.

Image copyright BBC news online
Image caption Divers released Rip after the lifting operation was carried out

The eels are known to congregate in deep water, where they spawn before dying. Operation Rip Tide was carried out on Monday afternoon.

Rip has been at the aquarium since 2004.

A large bag was used to catch the conger eel and a crane was used to hoist him out, lowering him into sea, where divers opened the bag.

Claire Matthews, the aquarium manager, said: "We hope Rip makes it to the Azores, but of course the sad part of the story is that he will die after it all - but at least he'll be happy."

In 2001, Chippie the conger eel was released at the aquarium for the same journey in Operation Amour.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites