PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A 5-foot, black rat snake is recovering after having surgery to remove a fake egg from its intestinal tract.

The snake was allegedly looking for eggs in a chicken coop in Seward when it accidentally ate a ceramic one instead.

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People often use the fake, ceramic eggs in coops to encourage chickens to nest and lay eggs of their own.

A Fish and Boat Commission volunteer saw the animal slithering around with a bulge in its stomach, and figured the snake ate something it shouldn’t have.

“The nice people that brought us the snake told us they noticed egg missing on July 22, so that’s most likely when the snake ingested it,” said wildlife rehabilitator Bree Bigelow.

A veterinarian at the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center in Verona called in a specialist to perform the surgery, which is deemed to be high risk.

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“They asked me if I thought the snake was going to pass the egg,” Bigelow said. “And I said no, probably not, you’ll probably want to bring it in.”

The egg had made its way to the snake’s colon and had to had hours of surgery.

As of this morning, the snake was out of surgery and was resting, beginning its path to recovery.

Black rat snakes are native to Pennsylvania, and are commonly found along the east coast. They survive on rodents, amphibians and small birds.

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David Highfield