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Last Updated: Thursday January 03 2008 11:53 GMT

In pictures: Snake's golf ball bellyache

The snake with the golf balls in his stomach

A snake in Australia had a lucky escape after a sneaky snack led to an emergency operation on its stomach.

The snake with the golf balls in his stomach

The 80cm-long carpet python gulped down four golf balls that had been left in a chicken coop to encourage the bird to nest, thinking they were chicken eggs.

An x-ray of the snake showing the golf balls in his stomach

When the chicken's owners found the lumpy python and realised the golf balls were missing they rushed it to a wildlife sanctuary where an X-ray showed where the balls had gone.

One of the golf balls being removed during the operation

Vets said the only way to get the balls out was to slice the snake open in a very delicate operation.

A vet operating on the snake

The snake, who's been nicknamed Augusta after an American golf course, is doing really well after its op and will soon be returned to the wild.

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