Girl critically ill after eel jumps into mouth

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Doctors were fighting to save the life of a young Taiwanese girl after an eel jumped into her mouth and ruptured her oesophagus.

According to the Taiwanese tabloid newspaper, The Apple Daily, the three-year-old girl was "attacked" by the eel a month ago and has been in intensive care at the Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei ever since.

The report says that the girl's father had caught a number of eels and took them home alive to prepare them for eating. As he was killing the eels, one of them leapt from her father's hands and slipped into the girl's mouth.

The father managed to pull the eel free, but the fish ruptured the girl's oesophagus. The girl was taken to hospital but the wound and infection have worsened, leading to surgery on her neck and a separate operation on her chest, including an additional procedure to allow her to be fed through a tube.

In July 2005, we reported on the case of an eight-year-old boy who choked together on a 7cm Climbing perch, Anabas testudineus, after it leapt from his hands and into his mouth, choking him to death.