A snake has been saved by surgery after mistaking four golf balls for a meal of chicken eggs, a veterinarian said Wednesday.

A couple had placed the balls in their chicken coop at Nobbys Creek in New South Wales state to encourage their hen to nest, Australian Associated Press reported.

They found the balls missing last month and a lumpy carpet python nearby.

They took the 80-centimeter (32-inch) non-venomous snake to the nearby Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where senior veterinarian Michael Pyne operated to remove the balls from the snake's intestine.

Pyne said Wednesday the snake was making a speedy recovery.

"Those golf balls weren't moving any further; they were stuck where they were," Pyne said.

"If it hadn't been found, it would have died for sure," he added.