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X-rays find coin inside zoo's Chinese alligator

Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A Missouri zoo said a Chinese alligator being scanned for possible pregnancy turned out to have something other than eggs inside her body -- a large coin.

Chris Hanley, assistant director of animal health at the St. Louis Zoo, said in a post on the zoo's official Facebook page that officials decided to give veterinary examinations to both of the facility's Chinese alligators when one of them, the female, appeared to have grown and might be preparing to lay eggs.

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The X-ray of the female gator revealed she did not have any eggs, but did have "follicles" in her ovaries that could become eggs in the future.

The zoo said the X-ray also revealed something more surprising, an "opaque circular object" officials suspect to be a coin.

The zoo said the object will be "removed gastroscopically at a later date under general anesthesia."

"Please be careful around our open habitats. Animals can ingest anything that might accidentally fall in. If that happens, please find a Zoo employee and let them know, or call the Be Kind Line phone number listed on a nearby sign. Thank you for helping to protect our animals," the post said.

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