Thiruvananthapuram: A moray eel, which was fatally attacked and injured by another fish, was brought back to life through an emergency surgery at the zoo here, for probably the first time in any zoological park in the country. The 600 gm female eel had been kept along with two other eel in the same glass enclosure at the zoo aquarium.

It was found critically injured on Saturday evening in the attack by a fellow eel. Its stomach was found severely bitten, flesh ripped apart and internal organs too, zoo sources said. They immediately sought the help of zoo veterinarian Jacob Alexander, who suggested an immediate surgery to give relief to the wounded fish. Chengannur-based veterinary surgeons-Tittu Abraham and Amritha Lakkshmi K U-, who had prior experience in performing similar procedures on fish, also rushed to the city to support the senior veterinarian.

The most challenging thing for the veterinarians was to give anesthesia to the wounded fish underwater in the nearly three-hour-long surgery. After the procedure, the eel, which has 30 stitches on its body, is now kept in a separate tank.

The surgery was a success and the fish was doing well now but the 48 hours after the procedure was critical, the zoo authorities added. Alexander later said expert training should be given to veterinary students in performing such surgical procedures so that they could give some relief to even tiny creatures like fish in distress..