HARD TO SWALLOW: Herbert the carpet python is back in the wild after being treated at the Wildlife Hospital for swallowing a golf ball.
HARD TO SWALLOW: Herbert the carpet python is back in the wild after being treated at the Wildlife Hospital for swallowing a golf ball. Ben Beaden

Zoo vets on the ball with Herbert the sick snake

FAR from an eagle or birdie Herbert the carpet python might typically contemplate snacking on was something much more sinister which saw him hit a bit of a rough patch.

When the adult snake was found lying on the ground in Meridan Plains recently, it was clear he had an unusually swollen belly.

Fearing Herbert was unable to digest the lump he had accidentally swallowed, the python was take by Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for immediate treatment.

Vets at the hospital conducted X-rays which showed what Herbert had actually consumed was a golf ball. Unable to digest it, it had become stuck, creating a dangerous blockage that restricted him from eating and digesting anything else.

Herbert the carpet python is back in the wild after being treated at the Wildlife Hospital for swallowing a golf ball.
Herbert the carpet python is back in the wild after being treated at the Wildlife Hospital for swallowing a golf ball. Ben Beaden

Herbert was taken to the land of nod while Dr Tania removed the ball, which involved making an incision on Herbert's side, carefully cutting open the skin, muscle wall and intestines to reach the object. Removing it successfully, Dr Tania then flushed the site to avoid infection and closed each layer with sutures.

Herbert received fluids, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication and was placed in the reptiles ward for observation.

For five weeks, the team kept a close eye on their slithery friend, monitoring the surgical sight and the snake's bodily functions to ensure he was healing and his digestive system was returning to normal.

After a final check, Herbert was released back into the wild but vowed to never go near another golf course or spherical object again.

QUIRKY FACT: Placing golf balls under brooding hens can encourage them to lay eggs, however it can also cause serious harm to unsuspecting hungry snakes.



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