Scaly patient had a metalic stomach ache

Open wide! A vet checks the toothy interior of the wounded croc. Photo: Parque Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar

A female crocodile went for the bait hook, line and maybe sinker. The result was two fish hooks stuck in the stomach.

The animal survived because a veterinarian and a surgical team removed the hooks and closed the perforation one had made in the crocodile’s stomach.

The report comes from the clinic of the Parque Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar in San José. The zoo officials said that a biologist, Juan Bolaños, brought in the creature from the Pacific coast where fishermen saw the croc with a line hanging from its mouth.

They supposed the animal had ingested a hook.

Subsequent x-rays showed that there were two hooks, instead of one, and that one hook had perforated the stomach wall.

That is when Randall Arguedas, a veterinarian decided to operate, the zoo said.

The operation was conventional, and the vet entered the crocodile Feb. 11 in a procedure the zoo has documented on a Web site.

The animal has recovered fully and will be liberated, said the zoo.

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