Woman Finds Rare Two-headed Snake Inside North Carolina Home

A North Carolina woman turned to social media for help this week after finding a rare two-headed snake had slithered into her home.

Jeannie Wilson, of Taylorsville in Alexander County, shared a video of the rare reptile on her Facebook profile yesterday, asking friends and family if the snake should be set free into the wild or donated to someone who could help care for it in captivity.

Due to its condition, Wilson nicknamed the snake Double Trouble. While the species is yet to be officially confirmed, she believed it to be a baby rat snake.

"OK Facebook... anybody out there know of a place that would take Double Trouble and care for him/her or should I turn it loose? It's not poisonous," she wrote in a caption on Monday, alongside footage of the snake captured inside a container.

Based on the video, the snake's heads appeared to be working independently of each other and a flickering tongue could be seen emerging from each one. While difficult to determine from the clip alone, the left head seemed significantly more dominant.

Ok facebook...anybody out there know of a place that would take Double Trouble here and care for him/her or should I turn it loose?..Its not poisonous

Posted by Jeannie Wilson on Sunday, September 27, 2020

Wilson said she had found the one-foot long snake close to a table in her sunroom, and immediately contacted a relative to tell them about its appearance.

"I called my son-in-law, who wasn't far away, and he said he'd be back," Wilson said, speaking to local media outlet WSOC-TV. "I'm not crazy guys. He's got two heads. When he got there, he said, 'He does have two heads, don't he?'"

Wilson told Newsweek: "We were having game night and the door was left open for some air. After everybody left I was in there cleaning up and saw it lying on the floor beside the table. I saw its heads first and couldn't believe it. I didn't want to kill it so we put it in a jar. Everybody was amazed, 'wow, a two-headed snake at Nana's house.'

"I put it in a five gallon bucket to give it more room. I went to the science center and... told them what I had, they said 'we would love to have it.' They [the local science center staff] told me it was around four months old and was a rat snake and was fixing to shed... I guess that's why it wasn't eating.

"[The snake is] officially a part of the science center and I can visit anytime I want. I do miss the little fellow...It was very gentle to handle and never offered to bite me."

Reporting on the complex lives of snakes born with two heads back in 2002, National Geographic indicated their chances of survival in the wild are very low. While some have lived longer lives in captivity, two-headed snakes can find it difficult to eat.

"Watching them feed, often fighting over which head will swallow the prey, shows that feeding takes a good deal of time, during which they would be highly vulnerable to predators, "University of Tennessee herpetologist Gordon Burghardt told NatGeo.

"They also have a great deal of difficulty deciding which direction to go, and if they had to respond to an attack quickly they would just not be capable of it."

According to NatGeo, evidence suggests one head may even attempt to attack or bite the other if they smell the scent of prey on themselves.

Last September, The Guardian reported a two-headed baby timber rattlesnake named Double Dave was found in a New Jersey forest. The condition, known as polycephaly, is tied to embryo development, similar to how conjoined human twins are formed.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission says rat snakes, named due to their preference of eating rodents, are non-venomous and common. They are constrictors, so suffocate their prey, and are also known to eat birds and small mammals.

This article was updated with comments from Jeannie Wilson.

Two-headed snake
Screenshot from a Facebook video of a two-headed snake uploaded to the social network on September 28, 2020, by Jeannie Wilson, a resident of Taylorsville, North Carolina. JEANNIE WILSON/FACEBOOK