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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Freak snake has double the bite: Gardener finds serpent that has TWO heads

-Both brains try to control reptile's body causing conflicting movements
-Experts fear it may not live very long


A gardener had the shock of his life when he came across this slippery customer - a snake with two heads.

Stunned Paul Carver was spraying weed killer outside his property when he spotted a number of young snakes.

On closer inspection he realised one of the reptiles had two heads and, despite its bizarre deformity, was slithering around without any problems.

Mr Carver, from Clarksville, Tennessee, phoned his friend Dale Grandstaff, an officer at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

He said: 'My initial reaction was to step away, I just thought it was weird. Then I thought, what do I do with this thing?'

Officer Grandstaff added: 'With millions of snakes and all the eggs that are laid, there are several babies a year probably born like this.

'But for them to make it in the wild, it's basically impossible.'

He transported the two-headed non-venomous Kingsnake to the Tennessee Tech University where it is being monitored by expert Dr Dan Combs.

But there are fears it may not live for long as the snake's heads appear to have conflicting movements - with the reptile having two functioning brains.

With neither head dominant, both try to control the body and at one stage one head appeared to try to hide under a log in its cage while the other one wanted to stay in the open, and it became 'hung' on a corner of the log.

Rare: There are fears the two-headed snake may not live very long as its two heads appear to have conflicting movements

It is also showing signs of a spinal defect where the heads join which may prevent it from feeding although both heads have been drinking water.

Dr Combs said: 'I was very intrigued. I have seen a number of preserved animals with extra limbs and at least one two-headed turtle that was alive.

'I cannot recall if I have ever previously seen a living snake with two heads.

Bizarre: This two-headed snake was found by gardener Paul Carver outside his property in Clarksville, Tennessee

'We hope to keep it alive, but I am not overly optimistic.

'Both heads drank water soon after we placed it in a cage but I plan to wait a day or two to try to feed it.

'I'm concerned that it may not eat, in which case it will probably live only a few weeks.'

Dr Combs added that if it does eat it could live for up to 20 years and reach 1.8-metres in length but its lifespan could be drastically shortened to around three years due to its abnormalities.



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