Finding a huge snake in your house is traumatic enough. After all, it’s not exactly a common occurrence for most people. But finding a huge snake in your house with something mysterious languishing in its stomach? That’s something else entirely – but it’s exactly what happened to one family in Australia. And when they figured out what it was, they were even more surprised.
It started as just another day for this family on Australia’s Gold Coast, but it definitely didn’t end that way. Indeed, on that fateful day in February 2016 there was no way they could have expected an enormous wild carpet python to slither into their home.
Dangerous animals tend to come with the territory in Australia. Still, even in Oz, it’s not unreasonable to assume that you should be able to live your life without giant snakes crawling into your house and devouring things. But that’s exactly what this serpent did.
Of course, most people with pets have come to accept that basically nothing is off-limits when it comes to chewing. Indeed, anyone who’s ever had a dog will be able to tell you how household items quickly get turned into chew toys. But this slippery intruder had taken things to another level.
Thankfully, upon discovering the snake the family – including their pet dog – managed to escape the house in time, before the snake could pose any serious threat to them. So instead, it turned its attentions to something else.
When they realized what was happening, the family quickly took action. They contacted Reptile Relocation and Awareness, a company that specializes in all things reptiles. And it wasn’t long before one of its employees, Tony Harrison, arrived at the house.
However, this wasn’t going to be just another reptile relocation. Because when the family told Harrison about the surprise waiting in the serpent’s stomach, he rushed the creature to the Vet Lounge, a medical facility for cold-blooded creatures.
There, the python was submitted to an X-ray, which soon revealed exactly what it had decided to chow down on. And sitting there in its digestive tract was an object surprisingly familiar to the family.
Indeed, it turned out that the snake had rudely trespassed in this family’s home and eaten TED – their plush, inanimate teddy bear. It was particularly fortunate, then, that Harrison had taken it to the Vet Lounge – if not, the consequences for the python could have been disastrous.
In fact, had the teddy bear been left inside the snake, it could have been fatal for the slithery beast. According to Harrison, the bear could have caused a block in the intestine, which would most likely have resulted in death. After all, soft toys aren’t usually on the reptilian menu.
“I’ve seen them eat tea towels, plastic bags and fake chook eggs – if it smells good they’ll eat anything,” Harrison told the Daily Mail. But he said that if the bear was left inside the snake, “infection will eventually set in and the snake will die.”
In order to save the snake’s life, then, TED had to be removed – hopefully saving the poor bear’s life in the process, too. And so the specialists at the Vet Lounge quickly took the python into emergency surgery.
Cutting open a snake isn’t exactly the simplest thing in the world, but luckily, the folks at the Vet Lounge had the necessary training required to do it safely. So they got to work on the unwitting python, which had apparently mistaken TED for a real-life critter.
First, the vets placed the snake under a protective mat, before meticulously clipping open its belly. Then they were able to see inside its belly and search for the problematic toy. And just as the X-ray had shown, there under the snake’s skin was TED.
As the vets pulled TED from his slippery prison, the family no doubt breathed a collective sigh of relief. As would TED, were he a real bear – although if that was the case, the greedy python may not have had such a hard time eating him.
Thankfully, under the trained expertise of the staff at the Vet Lounge, the emergency surgery went off without a hitch. Not only was TED salvaged from the innards of the python, but the reptile was saved too.
Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t a common occurrence – at least where the bear was concerned. Thankfully, the Vet Lounge staff had the experience necessary to remove it. Indeed, practice manager Kylie Barba told the Daily Mail, “Retrieving a teddy bear from a snake is definitely a first, but our veteran surgeon has removed objects from a number of animals.”
Of course, it’s no surprise that the teddy bear was looking a little worse for wear after his ordeal. After all, he’d just traveled through the innards of a python and lived to tell the tale.
But thankfully – and no doubt to the relief of his family – it wasn’t long before TED was back to normal. And he’s now back safe at home, in the care of the family’s dog, who apparently has a soft spot for the stuffed toy.
The unfortunate snake, meanwhile, had to remain under the watchful eye of the Vet Lounge’s expert staff while it recuperated from its surprise surgery. Ultimately, it will be released back into the wild. With a little help from the staff at Vet Lounge, then, this story thankfully had a happy ending all round.