A snake in Queensland has tried to snack on something that probably wasn't the most suitable item on the menu.
But fortunately for the carpet python, the owners of a property at Belgian Gardens in Townsville noticed it had an unusually round lump and called a snake catcher for help on Monday.
The reptile was then taken to the Townsville Vet Clinic where it was examined and X-rays were taken.
Following the X-rays, the professionals guessed the foreign object was a tennis ball and that the snake had made the poor meal choice not too long before it was spotted.
"It had gas around the ball on the X-ray," senior veterinary nurse Trish Prendergast told 7News Online.
"We then assumed the snake had eaten it within the last 24 hours... because of that we decided that the best way to remove it would be to manually manipulate it."
Ms Prendergast, who is also a licensed snake catcher and handler, said the snake received some lubrication, reportedly paraffin oil, to ease the process, and it took between 20 to 30 minutes to manually push the ball up.
She said once the object was removed the snake received an anti-inflammatory injection as its oesophagus may have been irritated.
Ms Prendergast said it would have eaten the ball as it would have smelt like a "prey item".
During its recovery the snake has appeared happy, sitting up in the cage and there have been no ill effects noticed since the removal of the ball.
On Thursday morning the reptile was fed for the first time successfully.
Ms Prendergast said it was lucky the snake was found pretty quickly, as it wouldn't have been able to digest food properly, claiming it would have starved eventually.
The tennis ball is not the first unusual item Ms Prendergast has had to remove, with other snakes swallowing things like plastic chicken eggs and a golf ball.
The animal who had swallowed the golf ball required an extensive operation.
Ms Prendergast urges anyone who notices a reptile who may have swallowed a foreign object to call a professional for help.
"If anyone sees a snake, keep an eye on it from a safe distance," she said.