This wild snake needed a tummy operation after he swallowed – a DOORKNOB.
The western rat snake used to catch rodents outside a family’s chicken coup in their garden in Ballwin, Missouri.
They placed an old white door knob on the ground as a ”dummy egg” to encourage hens to lay.
But they were stunned when they found the snake sprawled out on the ground with an enormous bump in his stomach.
Incredible x-rays taken by vets show the white outline of the doorknob lodged half-way down his long body.
Surgeons have now operated on the snake – nicknamed ”Doorknob” – and returned him to the wild to carry on catching rats.
Kim Rutledge from the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Ballwin, Missouri, said: ”The family would ’employ’ him to catch rodents from their chicken coup.
”A doorknob was used as a kind of dummy egg to help him to stay.”
The family encouraged the snake to keep returning to their garden as it was eating rats.
But the greedy snake simply gobbled up the household fitting believing it was from a chicken – and would make a tasty supper.
He was rushed to vets who performed emergency gastric surgery to slice through the reptile’s shiny black scales and remove the doorknob.
The snake spent several months recovering and allowing the six-inch long wound to heal. He has now been released back onto the property where he was found.
Kim added: “We don’t name our wildlife patients, but everyone just called him ‘Doorknob.’
“He was a super cool, well-mannered snake over 6 feet long. It’s a great story from beginning to end.
”He needed help and with you support, we were able to help him.”
To support the Wildlife Rescue Foundation please visit http://www.mowildlife.org/