ROSEWORTHY, Australia, May 14 (UPI) — An Australian man’s pet python underwent surgery at the University of Adelaide to remove a pair of tongs swallowed by the serpent during a feeding mishap.
Aaron Rouse told veterinarians at the Roseworthy campus’ Companion Animal Health Center he was using the tongs to feed a dead rat to his woma python, Winston, and the snake refused to release his grip on the utensils and ended up swallowing them whole.
“When Aaron arrived, the snake was in a box and I said, ‘Are you sure he swallowed the tongs?’ and Aaron just laughed because when you opened the box it was obvious what the problem was,” Dr. Oliver Funnell, a University of Adelaide veterinarian, told 891 ABC Adelaide.
“You could basically see the shape of the tongs, and there’s a small clip that you slide forward to lock them and you could actually see the outline of that through the snake. You could even see the bumps on the end of the tongs,” he said.
Funnell said the sharp tongs could have caused a severe injury to Winston if he attempted to regurgitate the utensils, so he decided to operate.
“The clip was at the other end so these tongs would have been trying to expand the whole time, which would have been quite uncomfortable,” he said. “We were able to remove them quite easily once we got the big end out.”
The university said in a Facebook post Winston is recovering well from his surgery last week.
Rouse said he will be more careful from now on at Winston’s feeding time.