An amateur wildlife photographer has captured an eel’s attempt to escape from inside the bird that ate it alive. A snake eel has recreated the iconic chestburster scene from Alien by burrowing out of the stomach of a heron and bursting through its throat mid-air.
In a nature reserve in Maryland, US, amateur photographer Sam Davis spotted a snake eel hanging under a heron while snapping the wildlife. He discovered that the eel had broken into the bird's throat upon closer examination. Snake eels can burrow their way out of the stomach, but they mostly do not survive.
This is the unforgettable moment when, while the bird is in flight, a snake eel burrows out of a heron and explodes into its body.
Amateur photographer Sam Davis, 58, at a nature reserve in Maryland, USA, captured pictures of wildlife.
The engineer and the keen snapper of nature saw the heron catch and engulf the eel and proceed to fly off.
But then, once in the air, the eel erupted from the bird's throat, hanging underneath the heron.
Snake eels are a family of species of eels that spend most of their lives submerged on the ocean floor in the warm sand.
They will carry out a horrific escape while eaten alive by predators by using their hard-pointed tail tip, which is for digging, to burst through the stomach wall of the predator in an effort to escape digestion.
Sam said: 'I went to the refuge to photograph foxes and eagles and whatever else may be interesting.
'There were two young eagles that saw the heron's predicament and were following him around, I assume they sensed a meal.
'Initially, I thought the heron was bitten on the neck by a snake or eel.
'When I got home and edited the photos I could see it was an eel that was coming through his neck. I could see his eyes and he was still alive.'
Sam, who shares his photos to nature fans on his Instagram account, continued: 'The wildlife refuge said they have never seen anything like that before. It is kind of a morbid photo.
'There was also a fox who sensed that there was an animal in distress.
'He followed the heron also and kept an eye on the eagles.'
Martin Fowlie, an expert from the RSPB, told MailOnline: 'I thought 2020 couldn't get any stranger!
'Snake eels have been recorded trying to burrow out from fish before in order to escape being eaten but I've not seen images like this before involving a bird.
'I'm surprised the heron is still flying with what must be a sizable hole in it. I would imagine that the bird won't survive such an injury though.'