The Saint Louis Zoo in Missouri has recently released a post in which they shared a very alarming message after one of their Chinese alligators turned out to have a “foreign object” lodged in their intestines.
The zookeepers shared how the alligator was undergoing a regular medical check-up when her x-ray came back showing a coin stuck in her stomach. The assistant director of animal health for the zoo, Dr. Chris Hanley, was the one who was doing the examination of the alligator. Dr. Hanley was examining the female alligator’s abdominal region during an ultrasound in order to see if she had started producing eggs yet.
And while the doctor was happy to see that she had, indeed, started developing egg follicles, he was disturbed to see that there was a metal object that was coming up in the scan. What was most concerning was that the coin most likely came from a visitor to the zoo.
As Dr. Hanley stated in the zoo’s video, “On an X-ray, metal is white, so that is a foreign object. It’s probably a coin that was tossed or fell into her exhibit. It poses a risk to our animals when these things are put into their exhibit.”
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Dr. Hanley added that the alligator was “clinically healthy” at the moment, but she will still be undergoing removal of the coin. They will be putting the alligator to sleep with general anesthesia before performing a gastroscopic procedure.
The zoo put out a warning to the general public to be careful around their open habitats when visiting the zoo. They shared that animals could accidentally ingest anything that might fall into their cages, so it’s important to watch your stuff.
They said if any visitors do notice that they’ve dropped something into a cage by accident, then they should locate a zoo employee and report it immediately. Alternatively, they can also phone the “Be Kind Line” which is listed on signs around the zoo.
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