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(NEW YORK POST) – A woman in Virginia found an extremely rare two-headed copperhead snake slithering around her neighbor’s flowerbed.
Virginia Wildlife Management and Control posted images and a clip of the venomous viper on Facebook last week — and the state now hopes to display it in a zoo to the delight, or dread, of many.
“This is what nightmares are made of,” wrote Dorothy McColl Holmberg on the post.
Other commenters questioned whether the rare reptile was even real — and the department assured them it is “very real and was shedding its skin.”
“I wanted to look away but couldn’t stop looking at it,” Stephanie Myers, who made the shocking discovery, told USA Today.
The snake was found in a yard in Woodbridge and is young, at about 2 weeks old, and small, at about 6 inches long, J.D. Kleopfer, an amphibian specialist for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, told the outlet.
It’s now being cared for by an experienced viper keeper at a residence in northern Virginia.
The few two-headed snakes around typically don’t survive for long in the while, because each brain often wants to do “two different things,” the state herpetologist said. In this case, “The left head has the dominant esophagus and the right head has the more developed throat for eating,” Kleopfer explained.
Still, both heads are capable of attacking and biting and both mouths can send potentially deadly venom to their victims.
While copperheads often grow to 18 to 36 inches and can attack humans, this young viper is mainly lashing out at insects, Kleopfer said, adding it was his goal to help the “little guy” stay alive.