Snake needs help – level 3

22-06-2015 15:00

Vets in Brazil have performed life-saving surgery on a 16-foot python after it failed to naturally release eggs.

As this snake’s a reticulated python, it kills by coiling its powerful constrictive body around its prey. The 20 year-old snake doesn’t produce venom, nonetheless, vets at Sorocaba University in Sao Paolo didn’t take any risks. They pinned the reptile down so that they could administer anaesthetic before the operation.

Vets at the snake’s home at Sorocaba Zoo noticed the snake was losing weight before running tests to find that she had a calcified egg lodged in her body. To save the reptile’s life, a team of 5 veterinarians and students cut a 5-foot incision near the reptile’s tail to remove the deformed egg.

They also removed 12 underdeveloped eggs from the female’s uterus, leaving her infertile.

Reticulated pythons are native to Southeast Asia and are among the longest snakes and reptiles in the world.

The snake is now being monitored at its home in the Sorocaba Zoo and is recovering well.

Difficult words: python (a large non-venomous snake), coil (to move in a spiral—a circle that turns on itself), prey (the animal which is being eaten), venom (poison), reptile (a cold-blooded animal such as a snake), administer (to give carefully), anaesthetic (a drug which makes you feel no pain), lodge (to be stuck), incision (a surgical cut), uterus (the place for the baby), infertile (unable to have babies).



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