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Australia Zoo Vets Remove Dog Harnesses and Leashes From Python's Stomach

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Australia Zoo said on April 28 that a carpet python “found himself in a bit of trouble” when he ate dog harnesses and leashes, with vets called to the rescue to remove the items from his stomach.

Australia Zoo said they were able to massage the materials up out of the serpent, sparing Pablo from surgery. They said the items had been in his stomach for at least a few days.

Everything ingested was successfully removed, with Dr Taylor, an Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors vet, saying, “luckily there were no dogs attached to the other end.” Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors via Storyful

Video transcript


- In here we have Pablo. Pablo's a large carpet python that came into us after eating an unknown structure in somebody's backyard. So after some X-rays and some discussions with the finder, we discovered that he'd actually eaten some dog harnesses and dog leads.

We spent a fair bit of time under anesthesia using an endoscope to search for this material that we knew was down in his stomach and had been there for at least a few days. The beauty of getting it out that way instead of going to surgery means he can be released quite soon after the procedure, whereas if he had a surgery, he would have to stay in for several weeks. We found it.

- Is that yellow thing part of it?

- Yeah, this is [INAUDIBLE] all of this here.

- Is that bruising?

- No, that's a lead, I think.

- Oh, yeah, yeah.

- Wow.

- We were able to massage it up and grab it with some specialized instruments. So it's about 80 centimeters in with the [INAUDIBLE]. If I can feed anything down the scope, with a grabber, I might be able to grab it. What [INAUDIBLE] you there?

- It's about by 10 [INAUDIBLE]



- So close.

- I think you should use the long grabbers to try and get a piece down [INAUDIBLE]. Wait, there's more down here. Hold up.

- [INAUDIBLE], can I get the scope here. That's going to to be the issue.

- Is it coming easily?

- There's tension.

- Look at it.

- We need the other pop stick just here. A moment-- hang on.

- Sorry.

- Wait, there's more down here.

- Hold up.

- There's a bar. And then more lead.

- It ate two. Two harnesses.

- Oh, there's two.

- Yeah, I believe so.

- It's moving as you're pulling on the--


- All right. Let's just slow up for a second. Give it a massage down there.

- He worked hard to [INAUDIBLE]

- That's one and then the other one.


- Oh, my gosh!

- Well done.

- Thank you, Dani.

- Well done.

- Let's put the snake on an Ambu bag. We managed to get it all back out of his mouth. And right here, I have the large dog leads, dog harnesses, and even a poo bag holder that was pulled out of him.

So I'm sure Pablo is a lot more comfortable with these out of him now. Luckily, there were no dogs attached to the other end of it. And we've just been checking him each day, looking in his mouth. There's just a few abrasions in there from this going in and then having to come back out. So once we see those healing nicely, we'll be looking at releasing him within the next week or so. And he's even eaten for us, which is a great, great step in the right direction.


- OK, we're just in a nice quiet spot here. We're just releasing Pablo, the carpet python, who has been in the hospital for a few weeks after he ate a couple of dog leads and harnesses. So Renee and I are just letting him go today in a nice quiet spot. It's actually just around the corner from where he came from. So he knows the area. Hopefully it's quiet enough though, that he'll stay away from dog harnesses and leads.

He's also very dark at the moment, because he's getting ready to shed his skin. So when we let him go, he'll probably just go and find somewhere nice and quiet to curl up until he's ready to shed his skin. See he's quite dark, his eyes are even a little bit milky.

Getting to release animals is easily the best part of our job, especially when they have such a cool story as Pablo. They're all different too. Sometimes they take off really slow. Sometimes it's quite fast like he did today. Cool to see him in the water as well. You can see, as you saw today, every snake can swim, no matter what kind it is. And he just took to that water straight away and just took off. So it's a really really good day.

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