'Tong-tied': Pet snake swallows pair of barbecue tongs - video

The snake required surgery after swallowing the cooking utensils

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A pet snake was left tong-tied this week after it swallowed a pair of the barbecue tongs at a home in South Australia.

Winston the woma python had to undergo surgery at Adelaide University Hospital after he had swallowed the tongs his owner had left the cooking utensils in his tank.

According to the snake’s owner Aaron Rouse, he had used the tongs to lower the mouse into Winston’s tank when the snake grabbed them and refused to let them go.

Unable to retrieve the tongs, Rouse gave up and left the tongs in Winston’s tank. Hours later he returned to find that Winston had swallowed the cooking utensils.

He took the snake to a vet and x-rays later revealed that Winston had fully ingested the pair of tongs.

It was soon felt that Winston would not be able to regurgitate the tongs without causing lasting damage and the vets decided to operate.

After a few hours under the knife, the tongs were finally removed.

Dr Oliver Funnell, a veterinary expert at Adelaide University, explained the procedure.

He said: "With reptiles you have to make an incision between the scales and we just made it over the big end (of the tongs) because that was further away from some of the vital organs like the heart and the lungs. "The clip was at the other end so these tongs would have been trying to expand the whole time, which would have been quite uncomfortable.

"We were able to remove them quite easily once we got the big end out."