Alligator who ate a shoe has it removed by vets 


A 10.5-foot Nile crocodile who ate a shoe that fell from a man riding a zip line at an animal park has had it removed by vets. 

Brave surgeons put their arms down the mouth of the crocodile to recover the shoe she had swallowed.

The 341-pound reptile ate the footwear after it fell from a zipliner passing overhead at the St Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, near Jacksonville, Florida.

A 10.5-foot Nile crocodile who ate a shoe that fell from a man riding a zip line at an animal park has had it removed by vets

The crocodile - named Anuket after an Egyptian goddess of the Nile - was witnessed spitting out the shoe before eating it

The crocodile – named Anuket after an Egyptian goddess of the Nile – was witnessed spitting out the shoe before eating it

It was decided surgery was the only option and large animal surgeon Dr Adam Biedrzycki opened an incision to attempt to manipulate the shoe through it

It was decided surgery was the only option and large animal surgeon Dr Adam Biedrzycki opened an incision to attempt to manipulate the shoe through it

The crocodile – named Anuket after an Egyptian goddess of the Nile – was witnessed spitting out the shoe before eating it.

Keepers at the park tried in vain to flush out the sneaker before deciding to seek medical attention amid concerns it could cause a blockage in the animal’s intestine.

On February 5, a team at the University of Florida Veterinary Hospital began the unusual task of recovering the shoe.

During the complicated operation, zoological medicine resident Dr Garrett Fraess bravely put his whole arm inside Anuket’s mouth in a bid to grab the offending item from the esophagus.

It was decided surgery was the only option and large animal surgeon Dr Adam Biedrzycki opened an incision to attempt to manipulate the shoe through it.

It was decided surgery was the only option and large animal surgeon Dr Adam Biedrzycki opened an incision to attempt to manipulate the shoe through it. Removed shoe is pictured above

It was decided surgery was the only option and large animal surgeon Dr Adam Biedrzycki opened an incision to attempt to manipulate the shoe through it. Removed shoe is pictured above 

Dr Biedrzycki said the footwear was causing a pyloric outflow obstruction, which can cause vomiting and abdominal pain in people, as well as crocodiles.

He said: ‘In this case the obstruction was caused by a foreign body, the shoe. It was too big to pass into the intestines and left untreated the crocodile would not have been able to eat or absorb any food.

‘She would have died either due to rupture of the stomach or starvation, which would be a long and painful death.’

Dr Biedrzycki said there was nothing written in the textbooks about how to get to the stomach of a crocodile.

He said: ‘We had to come up with a new method and ended up with an intercostal approach (between the ribs) which gave us the most direct access to the stomach.

Dr Biedrzycki said the footwear was causing a pyloric outflow obstruction, which can cause vomiting and abdominal pain in people, as well as crocodiles

Dr Biedrzycki said the footwear was causing a pyloric outflow obstruction, which can cause vomiting and abdominal pain in people, as well as crocodiles

He said: 'In this case the obstruction was caused by a foreign body, the shoe. It was too big to pass into the intestines and left untreated the crocodile would not have been able to eat or absorb any food'

He said: ‘In this case the obstruction was caused by a foreign body, the shoe. It was too big to pass into the intestines and left untreated the crocodile would not have been able to eat or absorb any food’

‘It is totally possible to have feelings for a crocodile. It is an animal like any other, we want them to be happy and healthy and pain free, so when we do well at surgery, we have good feelings.’

In a statement on Facebook, the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine wrote: ‘If the shoe fits your fancy …. swallow it? Not a good idea! This 10.5-foot, 341-pound Nile crocodile, named Anuket, came to the UF Veterinary Hospitals on Feb. 5 for removal of a shoe she had swallowed in December.

‘It had fallen off of a zipliner at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, where she lives, and into her habitat. Anuket was witnessed eating the shoe, and subsequently seen regurgitating it – then eating it right back up again.

 ‘Previous efforts to flush out her sneaker at the farm and at UF had been unsuccessful. 

Dr Biedrzycki said there was nothing written in the textbooks about how to get to the stomach of a crocodile

Dr Biedrzycki said there was nothing written in the textbooks about how to get to the stomach of a crocodile

‘During her most recent visit to UF, zoo medicine resident Garrett Fraess initially attempted to remove the shoe by reaching his arm up and through the crocodile’s esophagus but was unsuccessful. 

‘The zoo medicine team then took Anuket for surgery, where Dr. Adam Biedrzycki, a large animal surgeon, attempted to manipulate the shoe through an incision and push it from the stomach to the esophagus, where Fraess hoped to be able to feel and grab hold of the shoe to pull it out.

‘That effort, too, failed. 

‘Biedrzycki then performed a gastrotomy which allowed easier access to the crocodile’s stomach. 

‘Within a short time, he was able to remove the shoe. After an overnight stay, Anuket returned home, and has been recuperating at the park since then. 

‘We’re so happy to hear that she is doing well!’

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