TITUSVILLE, Florida -- You have to see it to believe it.
- Snake swallows ping pong ball
- Vets were able to remove ball after quick surgery
- The snake is recovering at a wildlife hospital in Melbourne
A small snake which swallowed something very unusual. And it took surgery to get it out and save the slithering creature's life.
"I've had other surgeries where I had to take something that shouldn't have been there out, but this is the first ping pong ball for me," says Dr. Angela Bockelman of Young's Animal Hospital in Titusville.
Yes, you read that right. A ping pong ball.
"It's actually understandable," Bockelman says. "Because that ping pong ball looks an awful lot like an egg, a case of mistaken identity."
The thin, two-foot-long snake was brought to the animal hospital late last week. This after Wild Florida Rescue was called to a home in Rockledge. That's where the owner found the wild animal in the yard, with a huge bump in its middle.
Bockelman took an x-ray and went straight to work to help the poor, emaciated snake.
She was able to remove the ball after a quick 20-minute surgery. Reptiles can't breathe on their own when under anesthesia—the vet tech has to do the breathing for them.
There is a bigger message behind all this: what people leave behind can potentially harm wildlife.
"It's important to keep in mind we could be causing more damage than we realize," Bockelman says.
In the meantime, the snake is recovering at Melbourne's Florida Wildlife Hospital, and will released back into the wild once it's healed.