Rattlesnake has life-saving surgery — after swallowing mouse in mousetrap

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Its eyes were bigger than its brain.

A New Mexico rattlesnake was left looking a bit more rectangular than usual after the reptile swallowed a mouse — while it was still in a mousetrap.

“When you think you have seen it all,” Espanola’s Cottonwood Rehab, an animal rescue service that saved the rattler, wrote in a July Facebook post describing the serpent’s unusual predicament.

The situation came to light after rescuers had discovered the prairie rattlesnake — a venomous pit viper that resides in the US Southwest — with the rodent-ensnaring device inside it, like something out of a “Tom and Jerry” cartoon, The State newspaper reported.

“He caught the mouse but did not realize it was still attached to the mouse trap,” Cottonwood wrote.


The mouse and mouse trap post-removal from the snake's belly.
The mouse was still intact, suggesting that the snake had just eaten it.
Facebook/Cottonwood Rehab

The prairie rattlesnake.
“He caught the mouse but did not realize it was still attached to the mouse trap,” nonprofit animal rescue organization Cottonwood Rehab wrote in a Facebook post.
Facebook/Cottonwood Rehab

Accompanying photos show the unfortunate critter with a rectangular bulge in its stomach after apparently swallowing the Victor Easy Set Mousetrap, a small version of which measures 4 inches by 1.75 inches.

It was presumably the snake equivalent of eating a candy bar with the wrapper still on.

The snake savers worked diligently to “save this rattlesnake from its stupidity,” per the post.

It’s unclear how long the rodent-catching contraption was in the snake’s digestive tract; however, the mouse was intact, if a bit squishy, when they extracted it, as seen in the Facebook photos.

That suggested it was not there for very long, as it takes around three to five days for the species to fully digest food, according to Rattlesnake HQ.


The prairie rattlesnake.
The prairie rattlesnake.
Facebook/Cottonwood Rehab

Facebookers were relieved that the snake was OK following its unusual bout of indigestion, with one deeming it: “Luckiest rattler snake I have ever seen in my entire life.”

“Thank you for saving him from himself,” praised another. “Hope there’s a full recovery!”

Speaking of swallowing unlikely objects, last month a Jerusalem mother who lost her gold ring was flabbergasted after finding it lodged in her 2-year-old son’s throat.

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