A mom of three in Louisiana has adopted a rare two-headed snake that was found in a backyard.
Wildlife educator Tanee Janusz, 39, took in the western rat snake when a fellow member of her naturalist society found it slithering around his garden.
The reptile, which is 10 months old and a foot long, has two heads. Thegenetic defect happens once in about10,000 births.
The deformity caused when the embryo does not fully divide has resulted in the animal havingtwo brains but a single respiratory system, digestive tract and body.
“Two-headed snakes are not totally unheard of, but they are pretty rare and this is the first time I have been in charge of caring for one,” Janusz told SWNS.I have three kids who thought it was the coolest thing in the world.
She has named the heads Fil and Gumbo and refers to them as “The Twins” because they have different personalities.
While Gumbo is on the dominant side, both are feisty and they often end up wrestling after trying to go in opposite directions.
Janusznow tours schools, libraries and scout groups educating people about the rare animal.
Tanee, who has been a wildlife educator for more than 20 years, added that had the animal not been rescued, it would likely have been killed since it slithers slowly.
Many two-headed creatures die prematurely due to genetic issues, but Fil and Gumbo have a clean bill of health since their rescue in September.
The two-headed snake is cared for by Janusz and her children Nick, 17, Josh, 14, and Katie, 11, who also look after their moms other rescue animals.
The clan includes seven snakes, a frog, three turtles, two cockroaches, millipedes, a tarantula, a bearded dragon, grasshoppers, a hedgehog, birds, dogs and a cat.