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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2008, 07:10 GMT
In pictures: Poorly python

A vet at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary holds up the golf ball-filled carpet python

A snake in the Australian state of New South Wales has had a lucky escape after a sneaky snack led to emergency stomach surgery.

The golf balls are clearly visible in the stomach of the snake

The 80-cm (32-inch) carpet python mistook golf balls - left by a couple in their chicken coop to encourage hens to lay - for eggs, and ate four of them.

Four golf balls show clearly on an X-Ray

The couple took the python to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where vets decided that the snake had no chance of passing the balls.

A vet removes one of the golf balls from the stomach of the snake

Vets operated on the snake, making an incision through which the golf balls were successfully removed.

A vet operates on the carpet python (all pics from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary)

Vets say the snake, nicknamed Augusta after the US golf course, is making a full recovery and will be returned to the wild.

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