It proved quite easy to catch the bird. It was so tired that it almost did not struggle. This bird clearly had not eaten for several days. At the rehabilitation centre, we carefully looked at this “wormlike” creature stuck to the chest of the bird. We were unable to remove it or even identify it. Jacky, from the centre, tried to re-hydrate the bird, but with very little success. About an hour and a half later the bird died.
The Subantarctic Skua clearly showing the "protrusion" on it's chest.
This creature then started to chew its way out of the skua. It could only got as far as getting some parts of itself out before it died, probably due to being partially digested in the bird's crop. The bird died due to a loss of blood and because it could not feed with this animal stuck partially in and partially out of its throat.
The "animal" that did the damage.
I did place this account, although shortened, on the SABirdnet. The only responses I got were of two gulls found in Europe that had apparently each swallowed a rat. One of the gulls was found dead with a hole in its body, but no rat. In the other case, the bird and rat were found dead. The only other feedback I received was of a heron that also apparently swallowed a live rat. The bird was found dead, with a hole chewed through it from the inside, as in the case of the gulls. As far as I know, this is the first record of a bird dying after being eaten by its food.
The hole in the skua's chest where the squid tried to exit.
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