'Longevity of freshwater eels' from The Guernsey Press, 20 January 1912.
Naturalists who are always on the 'qui vive' for something new in natural history will be interested to know that there is to be found a fresh water eel over sixty years old in a fountain in the parish of Torteval. The fountain is the property of Mr P Gallienne, of La Hure, who himself is in his 87th year. Mr Gallienne informs our correspondent that, though he does not recollect the event, his father placed two eels in the fountain. He remembers that one day while he and his father were cleaning the fountain one of the eels was accidentally killed. The father of Mr Gallienne died in 1853, fifty-nine years ago. As the eel had been placed in the fountain long before his death it is evident that the fish must be over sixty and may be over seventy years old. The fountain is cleaned every year and the eel is gently placed in a bucket with some mud or slime and when the work is over the cleaners replace the eel in the water. The fish is not a very large one, measuring about eighteen inches in length, and is about the size of a hay-fork handle. It may not be generally known that the custom of placing eels in fountains and wells was very prevalent in the olden days, the idea being that these eels purified the water by swallowing every little insect which might infect it.