Virginia wildlife officials share 'extremely rare' photos of two-headed copperhead snake

Clay Curtis
September 24, 2018

A woman in Virginia found a freaky surprise in her flower bed last week: a copperhead snake with not one, but two heads on a single body.

The baby Eastern Copperhead was taken to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro for radiographs so officials could determine how both the heads functioned with the body. He said the person who found the snake asked that their name not be released.

Snakes with a mutation like this have a hard time surviving in the wild, Kleopfer said, adding that it's because the two heads often want to do "two different things".

Further the radiographs revealed that the snake has two tracheas, with the left one more developed.

"Check out these extremely rare photos of an actual 2-headed copperhead that was found in someone's yard in Woodbridge.Cool, huh?" the department captioned the post, which had more than 1,000 shares and 600 reactions as of Friday afternoon.

Wildlife Center of Virginia shows a two-headed Eastern Copperhead snake at the center in Waynesboro Va

This means that while the snakes left head is more dominant, it would be better for the right head to eat.

"It appears as though the left head is more dominant - it's generally more active and responsive to stimulus", a spokesperson for the veterinary hospital said.

Most die young, Kleopfer wrote on Facebook; to find a live specimen in the wild is a rare occurrence, and to keep a specimen like this one alive will require a lot of care and luck. If the snake survives, it will be donated to a zoo for an educational exhibit.

In addition, other people on Facebook expressed their terror in the comment section, with a social media user named Shawna Barnum Shriner putting "This is what nightmares are made of".

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