As It Happens

Snake spits up frog, so Australian man revives it with CPR

Hope seemed lost for Lucky the frog after it was eaten by a snake. That is until Jamie Chapel showed up with a background in frog-rehab, and a whole bunch of good intentions.

With just one finger, Jamie Chapel saved a life

'Lucky,' a tree frog, was rescued by an Australian man after being regurgitated by a snake. (Youtube: Madison Williams)

"Lucky" is a fitting name for a tree frog who managed to survive after being eaten — thanks to a big hero with tiny compressions.

Jamie Chapel, a snake-hunter in Townsville, Australia, first encountered Lucky when the frog was nothing more than a lump in the stomach of a serpent Chapel had been called to remove.

"I thought 'this snake's just eaten,'" Chapel said to As It Happens guest host Robyn Bresnahan.

As Chapel approached, the snake regurgitated Lucky. The hunter bagged the frog to discard it, and that's when he saw a slight twitch in Lucky's leg.

"I thought 'this frog might still be alive.'"

The snake that eat Lucky slithers from the scene. (Submitted by Jamie Chapel)

With just one finger, Chapel pressed on Lucky's chest, performing CPR. 

"I put him on his back and started doing little mini compressions."

Chapel does wildlife rescue and frog rehabilitation, and he didn't think Lucky was going to make it.

But after about a minute of CPR the frog woke with a jolt, leaving Chapel shocked.

"He just like gave sort of a kick and came back to life!"

"I couldn't believe it."


But Lucky's fight had just begun. 

Chapel took the frog back to his house for "rehab," cleaning Lucky's wounds, issuing pain medication, antibiotics and a dietary regime of crickets, cockroaches and the occasional pinky mouse.

"He just powered on. He started eating, his colour came back … But I've got him in rehab for another week or two while he's fully healed up. Put some weight on before releasing back into the wild."

Lucky after some serious rest and relaxation. (Submitted by Jamie Chapel)

This isn't the first time Chapel used CPR on a tiny creature. He also performed chest compressions on a baby blue tongue lizard whose body was giving out when Chapel stumbled upon him. 

When asked why he took the time to save Lucky, the snake-hunter said he felt compelled by a desire to "help nature."

"If he can breathe just once … you're helping nature survive."

"Such a little animal can be so insignificant to someone else, but he has his own world."

Written by Sarah Claydon. Interview produced by Katie Geleff.