‘Tis the season for nightmare fuel, and one fascinating but unsettling discovery is getting into that fall spooky spirit.
A woman in northern Virginia found an extremely rare baby copperhead snake in her neighbor’s yard recently, complete with not one but two heads. Because, ya know, the venomous viper part wasn’t terrifying enough in itself.
After initially being picked up by the Virginia Wildlife Management & Control, the rare serpent is now being taken care of by an unnamed, experienced private reptile keeper.
J.D. Kleopfer, a specialist from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, has been posting updates on its status for the past several days.
“Wild bicephalic snakes are exceptionally rare, because they just don’t live that long. Too many challenges living day to day with two heads,” he explained in a Facebook post. “We’ll provide an update when we are confident of its survival. It has a tough road ahead, so keep your fingers crossed.”
Kleopfer also put up a video, if you’re brave enough to watch. When a commenter asked about the capabilities of the two heads, he clarified, “They both appear to be capable of biting.”
Cool! So here’s to never sleeping again!
In a statement on Friday, Sept. 21, the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro posted details from the radiographs that they did on the rare snake:
It appears as though the left head is more dominant – it’s generally more active and responsive to stimulus. Radiographs revealed that the two-headed snake has two tracheas [the left one is more developed], two esophaguses [the right one is more developed], and the two heads share one heart and one set of lungs. Based on the anatomy, it would be better for the right head to eat, but it may be a challenge since the left head appears more dominant.
As for what will happen to this little baby two-headed killer, Kleopfer also said that, “With a little luck and care, we hope to eventually donate it to a zoological facility for exhibit.”
So the citizens of Virginia can rest assured that both the animal and their streets are safe… for now.