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Watch vets yank an entire beach towel out of this snake, and be glad you chew your food

Published Feb 29th, 2020 2:07PM EST
python towel
Image: SASH

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Bite, chew, swallow. It’s a boring routine, but it works for many animals, including humans. Many snake species, including pythons, have streamlined their eating habits a bit, with jaws that unhinge and allow them to swallow their food whole. It works pretty well… as long as the thing you’re swallowing is actually food, that is.

For one unfortunate python in Australia, mistaking a decidedly inedible item for lunch landed it in the hands of veterinarians, and the procedure it had to endure was no doubt uncomfortable. That’s just what happens when you swallow an entire beach towel.

Pythons and other large snakes are capable of swallowing meals that seem much too large for them to take on. This is thanks to their unique jaw structure and digestive system that gradually breaks down even the largest of meals without the need for grinding teeth and chewing. Towels, unfortunately, aren’t included on that list.

The staff of the Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) outside of Sydney, Australia, were presented with a swollen female python named Monty who had completely consumed a rolled-up beach towel. The animal, which is a pet, was brought in by her owner, and vets dove in, literally.

As you can see in the video, it’s clear that the python has a swollen belly and had eaten something fairly large that it simply couldn’t digest. Using some long forceps to snag the offending fabric, the vets slowly pulled the towel out of the snake. It’s rough going at first, but eventually, the bulk of the blanket comes sliding out with ease.

Monty is no doubt thankful that she could be anesthetized for the duration of the procedure, but we can’t help wondering what she felt like after waking back up. Perhaps a mix of relief and indigestion with a sore throat for good measure? In any case, Monty’s owners were allowed to take her home the same day and she is reportedly eating normally.