Doctors Remove Rubber Volleyball From Dolphin's Stomach in China

Category: Science / Jan 23, 2012 11:32AM EDT

Doctors in eastern China conducted an unusual operation to remove a rubber volleyball from a dolphin's stomach on Friday (January 20), state media reported.

The dolphin, a popular animal star in Nanjing Ocean Aquarium, accidentally swallowed the 30cm-diameter ball a few days ago while playing with keepers in the pool, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said.

Before the operation, doctors from a local hospital used an endoscope to locate the ball and anesthetized the dolphin to help keep it calm.

The operation lasted for two and a half hour, the report said, and the deflated ball was pulled out of the dolphin as doctors and nurses cheered.

The hospital said the swallowing of the volleyball didn't cause any damage to the dolphin's digestive system.