A pet python got more than it bargained for at feeding time when it gobbled up the tongs being used to feed it pet rats.
The snake, named Winston, latched onto the barbecue tongs as he was being fed by his Australian owner Aaron Rouse.
Winston, a woma python, underwent delicate surgery to remove the metal tongs that were lodged in his stomach.
"I tried to prise him off the tongs but we didn't have any hope of that at all," Mr Rouse told ABC.
Adelaide University vet Dr Oliver Funnel went ahead with the operation when it became clear the reptile would be unable to regurgitate the tongs without causing internal damage.
"When Aaron arrived, the snake was in a box and I said 'are you sure he swallowed the tongs?' and Aaron just laughed because when you opened the box it was obvious what the problem was," Dr Funnel told ABC.
"You could basically see the shape of the tongs, and there's a small clip that you slide forward to lock them and you could actually see the outline of that through the snake. You could even see the bumps on the end of the tongs."
Winston is doing well after the operation, the university said.