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Goanna swallows six golf balls!

Thursday, April 04, 2019

For many native animals eggs are a natural part of their diet and it is not uncommon for WIRES to be called to rescue Lace Monitors caught raiding chicken coops.

Typically WIRES would advise simply opening the coop to allow the Goanna to make a hasty retreat - however this case was a bit different.

Lachlan, the chicken keeper, had placed six golf balls in his laying boxes to encourage the chickens to lay there. The golf balls were nowhere to be seen so Lachlan made a life-saving decision, he closed the door and called WIRES.  

Rescuers Martin and Brett attended and collected ‘Tiger’ the Goanna and promptly took him to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for x-rays and assessment. The six golf balls and three chicken eggs could be clearly seen in the x-ray!


The question now was whether to operate or see if the balls would pass through the lizard of their own accord. Also, whether the coating on the balls could withstand the strong digestive acids in the stomach.

Overnight ‘Tiger’ took matters into his own hands and regurgitated all six balls and the eggs. It is thought that the regurgitation may well be a stress response and that left to his own devices the outcome may not have been as favourable. Tiger was able to be released back to his home the following day.

If you have chickens and need to prompt your hens to lay in set locations, WIRES recommends you avoid using plastic replicas and simply leave one of the real eggs in the laying spot to encourage the chickens. We also recommend using chicken mesh on your chicken coops that is fine enough to prevent access by pythons and monitors in particular.

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