In a shocking incident, a rat snake was found with a shift knob inside its belly at Maryland in the United States. Somehow, the snake had been living with the knob in its gut for long enough to create a hole through its skin.
The snake was brought to the Second Chance Wildlife Center (SCWC) in Gaithersburg, MD where it is currently being nursed after removing the gear knob from its belly.
According to Second Chance, the shift knob had been stuck inside the snake for so long that a hole wore through its skin. Though it seems surprising that the snake could survive such a hole in its belly, the wildlife centre removed the shift knob, stitched the snake back up, and is now nursing it back to health. The snake will stay with Second Chance through the winter and then will return to the wild in the spring.
In a Facebook post, the SCWC wrote, “This rat snake was one of the most unusual cases we have treated at SCWC! Upon intake, it was apparent that the snake had ingested a foreign object resembling an egg. This is common in rat snakes, as golf balls and decoy eggs are often mistaken for fresh chicken eggs. In this case, the object had been trapped in the snake’s stomach so long that there was a hole worn through the snake’s skin.
“Our vet proceeded to surgically remove the object, revealing that it was a gear shift knob! She then sutured the stomach and repaired the hole left in the snake’s underside. The snake has been recovering with us since surgery and has made a full recovery. She’ll spend the rest of winter with us and will finally return home in spring!” it wrote.
Rat snakes love to eat chicken eggs, so when they see anything that's even remotely egg-shaped, they swallow it whole. Unfortunately, that also means they end up swallowing things like golf balls and, apparently, shift knobs. However, since snakes can digest neither golf balls nor shift knobs, they get stuck inside the snake until they can be surgically removed.