A video, shared by an Australian organisation that helps with the removal of reptiles, is currently going viral on social media. The video shows a snake handler massaging a snake to help it throw up a tennis ball it had swallowed. Shared on February 8, the Facebook video has collected over 1.1 million views, some 1,500 reactions and more than 1,700 shares on the social networking site. If you don’t do too well with creepy-crawlies, this may be a good time for you to look far away.
“What do you serve but not eat?” asks the Facebook post shared by Townsville Snakehandler. The answer is of course a tennis ball, which the snake had somehow managed to swallow.
According to their Facebook page, the snake was spotted by some home owners who noticed it had an unusually round lump and called a snake catcher. Once it reached Townsville Snakehandler, the team conducted X-rays and realized the lump was in fact a ball. They estimated that since it hadn’t gone too far, they could help the snake regurgitate it.
Using paraffin oil to make the tennis ball slippery, Predergast said it took about half an hour, and a couple of thumb cramps, to delicately massage the ball out of the snake.
Luckily, the gruesome procedure was somehow pulled off successfully. Despite the snake appearing to dislocate its entire jaw in the process, the tennis ball was easily removed. It took over 20 minutes for the ball to make its way out. “The snake will have some RnR for a few days and fed a normal food item and then be released back to the wild!” says the post.
It not only shows the video but also the X-rays of the snake with the ball lodged inside it. Since being shared, it has collected over 7,500 shares and more than 2,400 reactions on Facebook so far.
Ms Prendergast told the Townsville Bulletin it was the first time she had seen a snake had swallowed a tennis ball but it had probably mistaken it for food. “It probably smelt like food, maybe frogs,” she said.
Although, Mr West, snake handler told the paper it was not uncommon to see snakes with large objects in their mouths. “Maybe everyone six months we’ll find ones with something strange in their stomachs, like golf balls and porcelain eggs,” he said.