A snake’s large appetite may have played a part in its death when it was run over by a passing car.
The water python was presented to Ark Aid wildlife hospital in Palmertson, Darwin, last week by a government wildlife ranger after they found it in the middle of the road.
Vets were unable to save the snake who had suffered a broken spine but shared a remarkable image of its x-ray from the charity’s clinic.
In the image, its last meal – a large rat – can be seen resting in its stomach.
“Interestingly it had not only eaten a big rat but it also had deformed bones,” Ark Aid’s Vice President Andrea Ruske told Yahoo News.
She believes its sizeable feast was a contributing factor in its unfortunate end.
“We can only assume this was one of the reasons why it might have been slower to cross the road,” she said.
Ms Ruske said the wildlife hospital regularly had snakes admitted due to injuries suffered from vehicles or dog attacks.
She urged motorists to take care on the roads to protect the native wildlife.
“In general we always urge people to look at for wildlife especially at dawn and dusk,” she said.
“Slowing down when you are on the road will not only save lives but it is also safer for the driver.”
She urged drivers to stop and check on injured animals and reminded Australians that all states had wildlife rescue organisations that had volunteers who will pick up injured animals for free.
“It only takes one phone call. It is not ethical to let an animal suffer,” Ms Ruske said.
“Often animals can survive with horrible injuries for days depending on the injury after being hit by a car.”
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