Photographer Shares Picture Of Eel Burrowing Out Of Flying Heron's Stomach

Tom Wood


An amateur wildlife photographer has shared the best picture that he reckons he's ever taken, and it's a pretty damn good one.

In the shot, a large eel can be seen making a desperate bid for freedom by burrowing out of the stomach of a heron whilst the bird is in flight.

Yep, that's a once in a lifetime spot, right there.

Sam Davis is an engineer from Maryland, but in his spare time he loves nothing more than grabbing his camera and seeking out some wildlife to capture.

The 58-year-old couldn't believe his luck when he saw a heron flying overhead with a snake eel that it had obviously recently eaten hanging out of it.

Credit: Jam Press

You see, snake eels have this hard-pointed tip on the end of their tails that can be used to dig their way out of trouble, should the need present itself.

When they get eaten, they use that to try to burrow out, like in this case.

Whilst they ordinarily spend their lives sitting in the sand at the bottom of the ocean, this one found itself hurtling through the air in the belly of a heron, and it decided to change that situation.

Speaking about how he got the picture, Davis explained: "I went to the refuge to photograph foxes and eagles and whatever else may be interesting.

"There were two young eagles that saw the herons predicament and were following him around, I assume they sensed a meal."

Credit: Jam Press

"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."

For exactly how long the heron remained alive after the photo was taken is unclear, but the wound created by an eel burrowing out of from inside it would likely leave slightly more than just a scratch.

Either way, it created a unique opportunity for the lucky snapper standing beneath to watch the whole scene unfold.

If you want to catch any more of Sam's remarkable wildlife photographs, he shares them to his Instagram account.

Credit: Jam Press

Naturally, this shot came as a surprise even to the wildlife experts that he showed it to.

He 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."

Nature eh? It's constantly surprising, and usually terrifying.

Featured Image Credit: Jam Press

Topics: US News, Weird, Animals

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekend he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on
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