A photographer captured the grim moment an eel burst its way out of a heron’s throat as it flew away.
Sam Davis believes he captured the best picture he’s ever taken after he managed to photograph the peculiar sight.
The 58-year-old engineer spotted the bird with an eel hanging out of its throat in a bid for freedom.
The flying heron had eaten the snake-eel, which managed to poke out from inside it and escape.
Using its tail which has a hard-pointed tip, it was able to get itself out and Mr David managed to capture the gruesome moment, reports LadBible.
Mr Davis 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 herons 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.”
I t is unclear whether the heron survived after the morbid photo was taken – however, it is unlikely as the eel may have caused a painful wound in its stomach.
Mr Davis also said: “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.”
The amateur wildlife photographer from Maryland posts his pictures on Instagram under the name 22smd.
Currently he has around 2,554 followers.
Speaking to The Guardian, scientist Jeff Johnson said: “Most animals burrow head-first, but snake eels use their hard tail tip to dig straight into the soft sea substrate.
“When they are swallowed and take exception to that they just use that same mechanism to burst straight out through the stomach wall.”