Habu caught in the act of swallowing a mongoose

Habu caught in the act of swallowing a mongoose

In the evening of April 22, a habu snake trying to swallow a mongoose was caught in the house of a local resident of Shimashi, Ginowan.

April 25, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

In the night of April 22, Shincho Tawada, a 73-year-old resident of Shimashi, Ginowan, captured a venomous pit viper, which is also known in Okinawa as a habu. Tawada discovered the snake when it was in the act of swallowing a mongoose that he kept in a birdcage in his house. He grabbed the snake when it tried to slip away from the scene, vomiting up the mongoose as it went.

On April 21, Tawada caught the mongoose, a natural enemy of these vipers, in his field in Nakagushiku Village. He set a trap after having been troubled by mongooses eating his chickens’ eggs. Tawada brought the mongoose into the house and put it in a birdcage to show it to his grandson who was interested in the animal.

When he checked on the mongoose at around 9:00pm on April 22, he found that a pit viper had somehow got through the wire into the cage and was in the process of swallowing the mongoose.

Tawada has seen snakes in his house before – in fact twelve years ago he was bitten on the back of his head by one. The season when the snakes are dormant has finished, so they are more active now. Tawada said, “I’ll have to do something to keep them out.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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