Snake That Ate Ping Pong Ball And Survived Surgery Released Back Into Wild

January 7, 2019

A small 2-foot yellow rat snake (Elaphe sp.) that had apparently mistaken a ping pong ball for an egg, survived surgery and was released back into the wild after several months recuperating from apparently starvation and surgery. 

rat snake

Matt Jeppson/Shutterstock

In addition to eating rodents such as rats, rat snakes also consume eggs.

Dr. Angela Bockelman of Young’s Animal Hospital in Titusville, FL received the wild reptile in October with the obstruction clearly showing through its body. Bockelman estimated the emaciated snake had swallowed the ball more than a month prior, and because of the obstruction, was slowly starving to death. Veterinarians performed surgery on the reptile and successfully removed the ball. 

The snake recuperated at the facility for about two months, until it was released late last month. 

Posted by Young's Animal Hospital on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

“I know no one threw a ping bong ball out hoping a snake would eat it” the veterinarian told the Brevard Times. "But we still impacted that animal, and I think it’s only reasonable we try to fix it. I really care about wildlife.”

Rat Snakes Of The United States

Rat snakes are found throughout much of the eastern United States to Texas and as far north as Wisconsin. In addition to eating rats, rat snakes do consume bird eggs, small mammals lizards, and even other snakes. They are popular in the pet hobby as well and are widely captive-bred.

Related Articles

Two Southwestern Garter Snakes Proposed For Endangered Species Protections

USFWS will render a decision on the narrow headed garter snake and the northern Mexican garter snake in fiscal year 2014.

Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo Releases 18 Smooth Green Snakes Into The Wild

Opheodrys vernalis were hatched as part of breeding program in conjunction with Lake County Forest Preserve District.

Earliest Reptile Footprints

The earliest evidence for the existence of reptiles has been found in Canada.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Cast Your Vote

What other animals do you keep?




Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module

Find Us On facebook

Edit ModuleShow Tags