River Monsters Wiki

The New Zealand Longfin Eel is the largest species of freshwater eel.

River Monsters[]

The Longfin Eel is featured in River Monsters Season 3. Jeremy Wade travels to New Zealand in search of the legendary Devourer of Men. He ends up narrowing his search to the New Zealand Longfin Eel. He eventually turns himself into human bait by rubbing rotting fish on a suit he put on. He then gets into the water in the hopes of attracting eels. However, he didn't bargain on getting very many. Before long he is being swarmed by roughly a hundred of these 'devourers of men'. Attempting to eat the rotting fish, they attack Wade's hands. Afraid that they will draw blood and then drag him down to the depths never to be seen again Jeremy quickly heads for shore. Luckily, he did not go very far out, so he can get to shore easily.


Captain Cook spoke of some alleged "devourer of men", a huge eel-like beast that was said to live in the highlands of New Zealand. This idea was not entirely false, although the drawings of the 'devourer of men' were much larger than the actual eel. New Zealand is home to a beast called the New Zealand Longfin Eel. It is known to attack people.

Skills and Abilities[]

The New Zealand Longfin Eel can perform a Death Roll, an extremely effective maneuver that disembowels prey. Jeremy puts a deer carcass in the shallows near a camera trap and is able to see the Eel perform this move. This is also in the episode "Flesh Ripper".

The longfin eel is also known to migrate from the mountainous regions of New Zealand to the ocean. No one yet knows its exact migration route.


The Eel can grow to around 20 kg in weight and 1.5 meters in length. They can live in excess of 100 years.