What’s better — or worse — than finding a deadly copperhead snake in your yard?
Finding a two-headed version of the venomous viper, naturally.
That’s what someone in northern Virginia recently came upon. The bizarre baby Eastern Copperhead briefly ended up at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, which took the rare opportunity to examine it.
What they found was wild.
The X-ray alone is mind-blowing.
“It appears as though the left head is more dominant – it’s generally more active and responsive to stimulus,” the center explained. “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.”
Wild two-headed snakes are extremely unusual, the facility added, and they don’t live that long.
Based on its anatomy, the center said it would be better for the right head to eat, but that may be a challenge since the left head appears more dominant.
J.D. Kleopfer, a specialist from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, has also been posting online updates about this bizarre killer baby snake.
He figures it’s less than two weeks old and it measures about 8-inches long.
“Wild bicephalic snakes are exceptionally rare, because they just don’t live that long,” he wrote on Facebook. “Too many challenges living day to day with two heads.”
Also, super weird to watch.
“We believe only the right head is capable [of eating,” he wrote, adding. “They both appear to be capable of biting.”
Kleopfer said this animal has no chance of survival in the wild, but an update will be provided once officials are “confident of its survival” in captivity under the careful watch of a expert private viper keeper.
“It has a tough road ahead, so keep your fingers crossed,” he added.
(A Copperhead Road, no doubt.)
“With a little luck and care, we hope to eventually donate it to a zoological facility for exhibit,” Kleopfer wrote.
Photos JD Kleopfer/Wildlife Center of Virginia/Facebook