Moray eel bite

A moral eel is a fish species with an elongated, snake-like form that can deliver a serious laceration or loss of a finger or toe. It is not aggressive but might attack if it feels threatened.

What are the symptoms?

The indications of a moral eel bite can range from minor or severe which generally includes:

  • Local cuts and laceration, typically on the arms or legs
  • Significant pain
  • Several bite marks or row of teeth marks might be evident
  • Puncture wounds with significant bleeding
    Moray eel bite

    If bleeding is present, apply pressure to control the flow of blood.

  • Swelling or inflammation of the site
  • Brief loss of function in the affected limb
  • Loss of a toe or finger

Management of a moral eel bite

If an individual sustained a moral eel bite, it is best to call for emergency assistance. While waiting for the emergency team to arrive, the following must be done:

  • Transfer the individual away from the water and note down the time the incident occurred.
  • If bleeding is present, apply pressure to control the flow of blood.
  • Do not provide the individual anything orally or any medications.

In most cases, an individual who sustained a moral eel bite has a good outcome if proper treatment has been started right away.


  • Do not attempt to touch or handle marine animals.
  • Safety precautions must be observed by wearing gloves or a protective suit while diving.
  • Do not reach into dark crevices, holes or rocky nooks since moray eels are known to hide in these areas.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on a moray eel bite is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly manage this injury by taking a standard first aid course with Kelowna First Aid.