Okinawa Rail’s eggs found in the belly of Habu snake
May 9, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
Nago’s snake hunter Yasuhiro Makishi, 57, caught a habu snake and discovered that it had swallowed up the head of an adult Okinawa rail in the forest of Kunigami Jashiki at around 1:50 a.m. on May 8. When he opened the belly of the snake to make habu-sake or Okinawan snake wine, he found four eggs, possibly laid by the bird, in the belly of the snake. Makishi saw that the snake’s belly was swollen when he approached it.
The Okinawa rail is a species of bird that lives in Okinawa Island, where it is known as the Yambaru Kuina.
Makishi has been hunting snakes for about 30 years. He has never seen a snake with a Rail’s eggs in its stomach before.
“It is the first time that I saw the eggs of an Okinawa rail come out of the belly of a habu.”
The snake hunter speculated that the Okinawa rail, and its eggs might have been taken by the snake from their nest. He caught the snake as it tried to escape, vomiting up the Okinawa rail. The snake was about 1.7 meters long, and the rail was about 36 centimeters long. The saliva of the snake was found in the head of the deceased Okinawa Rail, showing the the snake had swallowed the rail.
On April 28, Makishi also found four young birds possibly belonging to the Okinawa rail in the belly of another habu. He was amazed that this happened twice. The snake hunter is making habu-sake from the snake, and is presenting the Okinawa rail and its eggs to an office of the Ministry of the Environment.
(English translation by T&CT)
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