Staff at a UK pet shop were left baffled after a two-headed snake hatched from an egg in a "rare" occurrence caught on camera.
Workers at the reptile pet shop, Exeter Exotics, shared a video on social media showing the two-headed Western Hognose snake which hatched from an egg earlier this week.
In the video, the slithering serpent was seen being held by a member of staff with a head on either side of its body.
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The stunned team members said its surprising entry into the world was a "shock" and that they are hoping for the "best" for the infant snake.
A spokesperson for Exeter Exotics wrote: "We've hatched a two-headed snake. Well this was a bit of a shock to see a couple days ago… a two Headed Western Hognose snake.
"It hatched on its own and has already shed its skin unaided. There appears to be no kinks in the body, just the very tip of the tail is curled.
"It seems to have no issues with movement either. Both sad and fascinating at the same time. All we can do is see how the little one goes, see how feeding goes and wish for the best."
Speaking to the BBC, owner of the shop Alicia Johns said she was in "disbelief" when she realised the snake had not one, but two heads.
Alicia says the snake should have hatched as twins, however as the embryo did not split, it resulted in the snake having a second head.
She said: "I was shocked. A bit of disbelief to begin with because they are rare."
Sadly, snakes born with two heads typically have a shorter lifespan than others.
Alicia added: "It's fascinating but it is still sad. If we ever felt it got to the stage where he was deteriorating or wasn't doing well, or was uncomfortable or in pain, then that's when we'd re-evaluate the situation."
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The owner said the snake is not for sale but the shop is currently open to name suggestions for each of the heads. The shop owner said they would not be selling the snake and were currently open to name suggestions for each head.
In an update on Instagram on August 9, Exeter Exotics said the right head will take food with its mouth if it is held close enough. but the left head appeared to struggle when offered food.
However, staff remain hopeful that things will improve.
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