ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – After discovering an “opaque circular object” in the stomach of one of their Chinese alligators, the Saint Louis Zoo is asking all visitors to be watchful for things that may accidentally fall into habitats.
Assistant Director of Animal Health Dr. Chris Hanley says the two Chinese alligators were examined after the care staff noticed the female alligator seemed a bit larger and may be pregnant.
The veterinary staff decided to examine both the male and female alligators.
After many tests and an ultrasound, the staff did not find any eggs in the female alligator, but they did find “follicles” on her ovaries that could turn into eggs in the future.
Hanley says during a radiograph x-ray on the female alligator, the staff also found an object they feel is “most likely a coin” in her stomach and will be “removed gastroscopically at a later date under general anesthesia.”
The staff believes the coin-like object fell into the habitat from a visitor.
The male alligator’s tests and exam showed he is healthy.
The zoo is asking all visitors to be careful around the habitats as animals can eat anything that may accidentally fall in.
In the event an object may fall into a habitat, they ask visitors to tell a zoo employee or call the Be Kind Line phone number on a nearby sign.