A North Carolina man who has experience keeping snakes recently welcomed a two-headed Honduran albino milk snake into the world.
Jimmy Mabe told CBS affiliate WGHP in High Point that the snake has two different personalities, and one seems to be more dominant than the other.
“The right side is a bit more aggressive than the left,” Mabe said. “So he wants to please me more.”
Jeff Beane, head of herpetology collections at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, said Pleasemynews he saw a few two-headed snakes, but that’s a relatively rare occurrence.
“They generally behave differently because they have different brains,” Beane said. “One is more dominant than the other.”
He added that one head is more nourishing than the other.
Despite their differences, Beane said, the two heads rarely become aggressive towards each other.
“They can’t do much to each other other than try to crawl in different directions or feed on the same thing,” he said.
Snakes born with two heads usually do not survive very long in the wild, and even if bred in captivity, a two-headed snake has a shorter lifespan than a single-headed snake.
According to the Alexandria Zoo in Louisiana, Honduran milk snakes are usually found under decaying logs or stumps. They eat other snakes, lizards and small mammals, although they are not poisonous.
“They use quick, jerky movements to flash their stripes, scaring off predators,” the zoo said.
Mabe told WGHP that the two-headed snake shares one set of lungs and a stomach, but their brains don’t always agree.
“They have a different spirit to go in a different direction than each other,” Mabe said. “They can’t always argue about which way to go.”
Pleasemynews contacted Mabe for further comment.
Although it is an unusual phenomenon, it is not the first time that an animal has been born with two heads.
A baby African spurred tortoise has been born and is expected to lead a healthy life. He was born with two heads, four front legs and a set of internal organs.
A Nebraska man was doing yard work and when he lifted a log near a fire pit, he was shocked to discover a two-headed garter snake. He contacted the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and turned the snake over to a herpetologist who works in the university’s Department of Natural Resources.
Another two-headed snake has been found in the wild. A snake rescuer was asked to take the snake from a man who had found it in his garden.