Mutant two-headed snake wows visitors at Ukrainian zoo

July 14th, 2011 in Biology / Plants & Animals
A picture taken on July 8, displays a two-head Albino California Kingsnake at the terrarium of "Skazka" (Fairy tale) Zoo in the Crimean city of Yalta. The snake will be on display at the zoo until mid-September.


A picture taken on July 8, displays a two-head Albino California Kingsnake at the terrarium of "Skazka" (Fairy tale) Zoo in the Crimean city of Yalta. The snake will be on display at the zoo until mid-September.

A snake with two heads, each able to think and eat separately and even steal food from each other, has become a popular attraction at a Ukrainian zoo.

The small albino California Kingsnake, now on show in the Black Sea resort of Yalta is quite a handful, workers told AFP.

The snake's two heads are fiercely independent, are not always in agreement and like to snatch food from each other, said keepers of the private zoo, called Skazka, or Fairy Tale.

"Sometimes one head wants to crawl in one direction and the other head in another direction," zoo director Oleg Zubkov told AFP.

Zoo worker Ruslan Yakovenko added that he tries to feed the snake's two heads separately as they sometimes fight for food.

"If it is really hungry, its heads may steal food from each other," he said, adding he also needs to separate the heads with a barrier.

"The second head may get angry, but both then feel satiation because they only have one stomach," he told AFP.

The private zoo said kingsnakes hunt other reptiles, meaning one of the snake's head could instinctively try to attack and eat the other one.

The three-year-old, two-foot-long (60 centimetre) is on loan from Germany.

Visitor numbers had nearly doubled since it went on display in early July, said zoo keeper Yakovenko.

"Many enter the zoo feeling horrified and leave delighted."

The snake, believed to be Europe's only two-headed , will be on show in Ukraine until September.

(c) 2011 AFP

"Mutant two-headed snake wows visitors at Ukrainian zoo." July 14th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-07-mutant-two-headed-snake-wows-visitors.html