By Tui Benjamin
Vets were forced to remove a slipper from the stomach of a huge wild python after the snake swallowed the footwear whole.
Unbelievable footage from Queensland, Australia, shows Dr Josh Llinas carefully prising the reptile’s belly apart before pulling the men’s slipper free with his hands.
The poorly python was brought into Herpvet at Greencross Jindalee Veterinary Clinic in Mount Ommaney with a shoe-shaped lump in its stomach by a snake catcher yesterday.
Staff were told the man had removed the 1.5 metre coastal carpet python from a nearby house after the shocked resident witnessed it eating his slipper inside his home – before an incredible x-ray image confirmed the cause of its discomfort.
After its surgery, the sickly serpent needed staples and will spend six to eight weeks convalescing before being released back into the wild.
A staff member for the clinic said: “The snake was brought in by a local snake catcher because Dr Josh is known for helping wildlife.
“These snakes eat anything – previously he has removed tennis balls and even a pillowcase from pythons – it is a miracle they survive in the wild.
“When we saw the snake it was quite obvious it had eaten a shoe. The member of the public who had called the snake catcher even said they had seen it eat their slipper.
“The surgery was pretty straightforward and everything went perfectly, the slipper came out smoothly.
“The snake is still in the clinic, because reptiles take longer than mammals to heal from surgery it will need to recover for six to eight weeks and can then be released back into the wild.”
In the video, the slipper can be seen popping out of the snake’s stomach with minimal effort needed on the part of Dr Llinas after an 18cm incision was made for the coeliotomy and gastrotomy procedure.
After this, the animal’s stomach was closed in two layers with the body wall muscle first stitched back together before surgical staples were used for its skin.