Stolen wooden eel to be returned home after being found 100 miles away

A wooden eel stolen from a country park near Bridgnorth will soon be returned home after washing up on the shore of a beach nearly 100 miles away.

The team that rescued Elvis the eel
The team that rescued Elvis the eel

Affectionately known as Elvis, it was one of two eels installed in the play area at Severn Valley Country Park before both were stolen.

Now, Shropshire Council said it is working to have the carving returned to its rightful home.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said: “Elvis being found washed up 100 miles from home is remarkable and is wonderful news. I think you could say we’re all shook up by this unexpected surprise.

“Council officers are now working with the finders to have Elvis safely transported back to Severn Valley Country Park after his extraordinary migration, where children will once again be able to enjoy him.

The eel was stolen in July 2020

“I’d like to thank the finders of Elvis – it is truly remarkable. Hopefully we can find Elvis’ sibling and reunite the pair.”

Shropshire Council, which runs Severn Valley Country Park, said the police were aware of the discovery and the search continues to find the second missing wooden sculpture.

Both carvings were provided by the Unlocking the Severn project to excite children and engage them with the wildlife of the river.

Unlocking the Severn is a river connectivity project and one of the largest river restorations ever attempted in Europe, aiming to improve fish passage and aid migrations.

Alex Ball, senior project manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “The Unlocking the Severn project is about restoring the river for fish migration. Clearly this piece of play equipment has made an epic journey of its own.

"We are extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed to finding the wooden eel, sharing the story on social media, and bringing the information to the attention of the council and the Unlocking the Severn project.

"We look forward to the eel being reunited with the rest of the play trail, as it is a very important legacy of the project, alongside the fantastic fish passes around Worcester which will ensure passage for all kinds of migratory fish up into Shropshire and beyond.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News