A team of veterinarians at the University of Florida performed surgery on a Nile crocodile to remove a shoe from its stomach. The 10.5-foot, 341-pound Nile crocodile, named Anuket, swallowed the size 6.5 Walmart women's sneaker back in December after it fell off the foot of a guest who was ziplining at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.
The crocodile ate the shoe, then regurgitated it before eating it again. The shoe ended up getting stuck in the crocodile's stomach. The crocodile could not digest the footwear because it was made of synthetic materials.
"If it was leather sandals, then it would have been a whole other ballgame," Gen Anderson, general curator at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park told NBC News.
She said that if the shoe was not removed, the crocodile would have suffered "a very slow death."
Anuket was brought to the University of Florida on February 5 where veterinarians attempted to remove the shoe without surgery. After those attempts failed, they performed a gastrotomy and removed the shoe from the crocodile's stomach.
The crocodile was returned to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park the following day and is currently recovering in an area off-limits to the public.
Photo: Getty Images