Two-Headed Snake Amazes Zoo Visitors in Ukraine
The three-year old, two-foot-long animal's two heads are each able to think and eat separately, and have even been seen to steal food from each other.
The small albino California Kingsnake is currently on display at the Black Sea resort town of Yalta. The private zoo the animal is being kept at is called Skazka, or Fairy Tale.
Zoo workers told AFP that the snake's two heads are deeply independent, often disagree and will steal food from each other.
"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 to avoid conflicts over food.
"If it is really hungry, its heads may steal food from each other," he said, saying that he is forced 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 continued.
The zoo noted that kingsnakes hunt other reptiles, meaning that one of the snake's head could instinctively try to attack and eat the other one.
Visitor numbers have nearly doubled since the snake went on display earlier in July. "Many enter the zoo feeling horrified and leave delighted," Yakovenko said.
The snake is believed to be Europe's only two-headed specimen. On loan from Germany, it will be on display in the Ukraine until September.