Orthopedic Plate Found In Crocodile's Stomach

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Orthopedic Plate Found In Crocodile's Stomach

Photo Credit via ABC



John Lever, a Koorana Crocodile Farm owner, found his crocodile MJ dead seven months after the reptile stopped eating, says Erin Semmler of Australian public news service ABC News. MJ fought with another crocodile named Big Joe last 2018, causing the former’s condition to deteriorate. According to Lever, a crocodile’s corpse is opened to examine the contents of its stomach. Lever would find broken bottles, plastics, rocks, onion bags, and hooks. 


Photo Credit via ABC


However, the crocodile farmer found an unusual object inside MJ’s belly. “There's no number, it's only the style. It's an old-style orthopedic plate and it came complete with six stainless steel screws,” he explains. “Obviously whatever bone he'd taken in that had had the operation performed on it, had been eaten away by the crocodile's stomach juices and just left the stainless steel plate with the six screws in it." 

Lever contacted someone in England to find the orthopedic plate’s manufacturer to identify it. They tried to find out whether the tool was used either in the veterinary or the medical industry. Lever would hand the plate to the police for further testing if the results came back from England. He admitted that the police might not get anything from the plate since the plate has been inside MJ’s stomach for six years. 


Photo Credit via ABC


Lever purchased MJ from a farm in Queensland six years ago, albeit the crocodile lived in the wild prior to that. He was unsure why the crocodile died. Lever found rocks, but dismissed it as “normal for the species.” “There's always stones [in their stomachs] because they actually swallow those and use them to help with their ballast when they're lying in the water,” he explains. 

As of this writing, the plate’s origin is still shrouded in mystery. Lever is still waiting for the results, but he might unearth MJ’s carcass and take one of his leg bones to determine his age. Lever hopes that the public may help him identify the orthopedic plate.



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