Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Veterinarians in Maryland performed surgery on a rat snake to remove a gear shift knob the serpent had mistakenly swallowed.
The Second Chance Wildlife Center in Gaithersburg said the snake was brought in with an unknown foreign object in its stomach.
"This is common in rat snakes, as golf balls and decoy eggs are often mistaken for fresh chicken eggs," the center said in an Instagram post. "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."
The object was surgically removed from inside the snake and identified as a gear shift knob from a car.
The post said the snake has now made a full recovery and will be released in the spring.