Location:Home > slippers > " she said. "This is the first encounter we've had with a snake that's eaten a slipper

" she said. "This is the first encounter we've had with a snake that's eaten a slipper

Time:2018-03-27 23:10Shoes websites Click:

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Snake mistakes man's slipper for food, undergoes surgery to have it removed

By Patrick Williams

Updated March 27, 2018 11:44:30

Carpet python eats slipper (Supplied: N&S Snake Catcher)

Video: Carpet python eats slipper (Supplied: N&S Snake Catcher) (ABC News)

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Map: Brisbane 4000

There are slippery snakes, and then there's this slipper-eating snake.

A carpet python has confused a man's footwear for a feed, ingesting his right-foot slipper in a late night snack in a Haigslea home, west of Brisbane, last week.

WARNING: This story contains graphic images of veterinary surgery.

Snake catching couple Sally and Norman Hill, of N&S Snake Catcher, were called out to wrangle the reptile after it was spotted indoors on Friday.

An elderly man and a relative had come across it during the search for one of his slippers, which had gone missing overnight days earlier.

X-ray of a slipper swallowed by a Coastal Carpet Python in Queensland, which had the object removed by a vet.

Photo: The slipper was a snug fit. (Supplied: HerpVet)

Once they saw the noticeable shoe-sized bulge in the snake's body, they started to connect the dots.

Ms Hill said the python took the shoe during the night on Tuesday.

"The man was going to bed, and normally he puts his slippers under his bed. What happened was he woke up Wednesday morning and there was a missing slipper," Ms Hill said.

"They were looking for the slipper, and couldn't find it anywhere. Someone thought maybe a possum took it, so they were looking around for a possum, and that's when they discovered the snake days later."

Carpet python eats slipper

Photo: It was obvious to snake catchers what was causing this large bulge in the carpet python. (Supplied: N&S Snake Catcher)

Ms Hill's husband Norman was the one to pluck the python from its hiding spot.

"When we got the snake it was obvious it'd eaten the slipper. We had the spare slipper to measure up against the snake," she said.

"You could feel the rubber in its stomach, you could feel the sole of the slipper through the skin."

Ms Hill had her own theory as to why the python may have snacked on the slipper.

"There are lots of mice, possums, and what not out there. My opinion is a rat or possum crawled all over the slipper, or peed on it, or maybe there was a rat or mice in it and the snake saw it," she said.

"This is the first encounter we've had with a snake that's eaten a slipper, or anything strange. Normally it's possum, or even a cat, or a dog, or a chicken. But a slipper is a new one."

Stomach of a carpet python exposed during surgery

Photo: The successful surgery was carried out on Monday. (Supplied: HerpVet)

'One of the most impressive radiographs I've seen'

The python was taken to a HerpVet at Mount Ommaney, where it was X-rayed it to confirm the footwear was inside.

The reptile underwent successful surgery to have it removed on Monday afternoon.

Slipper removed from snake in surgery (Supplied: HerpVet)

Video: Slipper removed from snake in surgery (Supplied: HerpVet) (ABC News)

"This made for one of the most impressive radiographs I have seen," HerpVet director Dr Josh Llinas said.

Surgery was performed under general anaesthetic in a procedure called a coeliotomy and gastrotomy.

The initial approach is through the side of the body, two to three scale rows up from the belly.

The incision, about 20 centimetres long, is made in a zigzag pattern so as to not cut the scale.

"Then I go in, get the stomach exposed, and then enter the stomach and remove the foreign object," Dr Llinas said.

A Coastal Carpet Python recovering in surgery after having a slipper removed from its stomach.

Photo: Successsssss! The python recovers after a successful operation. (Supplied: HerpVet)

He said surgery was all over within an hour.

"[The python] woke up very quickly from the procedure, given anti-inflammatories and painkillers and antibiotics in this case, because we entered the GI tract."

It will be off to rehabilitation in a couple of days, and will eventually be released back into the wild in the near future.

Dr Llinas said if the snake had not been caught it could have died.

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