A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

Across Appalachia

Second Two-headed Snake Recently Found in Region

In early October, a couple from Leslie County, Ky., found a weeks-old two-headed copperhead snake in their yard. The couple donated the snake to the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort. This follows the September discovery of another baby two-headed copperhead in Virginia, which passed away in captivity in early November due to spinal complications.

According to Virginia State Herpetologist J.D. Kleopfer, finding a two-headed copperhead in the wild is incredibly rare as they normally can’t survive on their own.

“They pop up once in a blue moon and it’s just a matter of pure luck that someone finds them before they get eaten by something or killed,” says Kleopfer.

State herpetologists believe that the discovery of these two anomalies are just a coincidence. Copperheads give live births, typically in late August and early September.

According to Kleopfer, these animals probably wouldn’t have lasted more than a few weeks out in the wild. “Two-headed snakes rarely survive more than a few weeks – often there are major internal problems – but a two-headed rat snake found in Tennessee survived and thrived for 20 years in captivity,” says Kentucky State Herpetologist John MacGregor. — By Kennedy Kavanaugh

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