Rare two-headed viper found outside Virginia woman’s home dies

Posted at 7:27 PM, Nov 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-18 20:32:09-05

WAYNESBORO, Va. – The rare, two-headed snake that a woman found outside her Woodbridge, Virginia, home in September has died.

According to the Washington Post, experts aren’t sure what exactly caused the snake’s death, but snake keepers who specialize in caring for bicephalous – or two-headed – snakes said it was poised to have a harder time surviving due to how far down the spine was fused.

The two- or three-week-old copperhead was about six to eight inches long when it was found, the Post said.

Photos and video of the snake were going viral on Facebook after Powhatan-based animal removal business Virginia Wildlife Management and Control shared them shortly after its discovery. 

Related: Woman finds rare two-headed viper outside her Virginia home 

Virginia Wildlife Management and Control owner Rich Perry said the person who found the snake called his company’s 24-hour snake identification hotline in an effort to better determine what she found. Perry’s business later posted the photos, without many details, on Facebook. He said the person who found the snake asked that their name not be released.

After examining the snake, experts discovered despite having two heads, it only had one heart and one set of lungs. They said both heads appeared to have venom.

Wild, two-headed snakes are so rare that the center had been fielding calls from people looking to buy the reptile.

However, it remained in the care of the state herpetologist, J.D. Kleopfer, at the center until its death.

Kleopfer said the snake’s body will be donated to a museum.