“Yes, he really is in there,” is the answer that aquarist Gary Stoops gives when zoo guests ask, “Are you sure there’s a zebra moray eel?”
Lazarus the zebra moray eel is known for his ability to evade public view, coming out of his hiding places once or twice a day (maybe) for a feeding or brief swim across The Reef aquarium. It’s hard to believe this elusive fish is over three feet long!
His hiding places change all the time. Sometimes a guest will spot Lazarus, but by the time they’ve readied their camera for a photo, the eel has disappeared behind the coral, leaving only an inch or two of his tail visible. How can you get a look and maybe even snap a photo of an eel known for his hide-and-seek skills? Stoops offers advice, “Ask an aquarist or a zoo keeper when feeding time is scheduled. We offer him shrimp a few times a week. Lazarus swims to the top of the tank once or twice during each feeding. After that he hides again.”
But there is good news—Phase II of the Australian Adventure remodel brought hope for those wanting to catch a glimpse of the black-and-white striped swimmer!
The recent remodel of the 17,000-gallon Reef tank provided Lazarus with a new hiding spot that’s perfect for a stealthy eel. Near the side viewing window there’s a small cave extending from the coral. If you come on the right day and look carefully inside, you might see a small face looking back at you. That’s Lazarus.
Click on the photos to enlarge: