Warning: graphic images
A rat snake in Maryland is on the road to recovery after she accidentally swallowed a gear shift knob, an animal rehabilitation organization wrote on its Instagram page.
“This rat snake was one of the most unusual cases we have treated at SCWC,” said the Second Chance Wildlife Center in a Jan. 25 post on its Instagram page.
“Upon intake, it was apparent that the snake had ingested a foreign object resembling an egg,” said the center, noting that rat snakes often accidentally swallow golf balls and egg-like objects they think are 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,” said the Instagram post.
A veterinarian at Second Chance Wildlife Center removed the object from the snake – revealing that it was actually a gear shift knob from a car.
A snake with a mysterious object stuck in her stomach was brought to the Second Chance Wildlife Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland. (SWNS)
“She then sutured the stomach and repaired the hole left in the snake’s underside,” said the Instagram post.
The snake has remained at Second Chance Wildlife Center since her operation — and is expected to make a full recovery, said the organization.
The gear stick knob had been stuck for so long that pressure had worn a hole all the way through the snake’s stomach, skin and scales. The snake likely believed she was eating an egg. (SWNS)
“She’ll spend the rest of winter with us and will finally return home in spring,” the center said.
Fox News Digital reached out to the organization for additional comment and updates.
The Second Chance Wildlife Center is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.
“Founded in 1995, Second Chance Wildlife Center is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit facility providing skilled and compassionate emergency treatment and long-term rehabilitative care to injured, ill and orphaned wildlife with the goal of releasing healthy animals back to their intended roles in nature,” says its website.
The snake is reportedly doing well after her surgery to remove the gear shift knob it swallowed (shown above) — and will be released in the spring, the wildlife rehab center said in an Instagram post. (SWNS)
In addition to its rehabilitation efforts, the Second Chance Wildlife Center works “to educate the public on how to safely coexist with their wildlife neighbors,” the group said.
It treats nearly 3,000 wild animals each year, including bald eagles, possums, ducks, rabbits, turtles and snakes, said its website.
Rat snakes are “large non-venomous snakes between 3.5 and 7 feet (one and two meters) long. They have shiny black scales on their back and a light colored belly, and their throat and chin are white,” says the website for the National Wildlife Foundation.
They live on the east coast of the United States and have a varied diet, said the National Wildlife Foundation, including frogs and eggs.
The snakes are “excellent swimmers and climbers,” the foundation added.
Christine Rousselle is a lifestyle reporter with Fox News Digital.