Photos of a two-headed venomous copperhead found in a Virginia yard put the Virginia Wildlife Management & Control on the defensive this week.
Apparently, some people believe state officials are pulling our collective leg.
“Is this for real?” asked Michele Reeves Graham on the department’s Facebook page.
“Why does it look fake?” wrote Kristian Talley. “The skin up closer to its heads is different than its body.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Talley went on to say she believes its a “photo shopped” image.
On Monday, the department posted a video as proof, showing the snake being agitated into squirming around. It has been viewed more than 50,000 times.
“Absolutely not a fake! We assure you, it’s very real and was shedding its skin,” said a Facebook post by the Virginia Wildlife Management & Control. “And all you have to do is watch the video. Can’t give any more proof than that.”
The debate began Sunday, when the department posted multiple photos of the snake, writing: “Check out these extremely rare photos of an actual 2-headed copperhead that was found in someone’s yard in Woodbridge...Cool, huh?”
Officials from Virginia Wildlife Management & Control, a private wildlife removal company, picked up the snake days later. CNN is reporting it is is now in the care “an experienced viper keeper” and the plan is to eventually put it on display at a zoo.
Experts have discovered that left head has the dominant esophagus, but the right has “the more developed throat for eating,” CNN reported.
Biologists believe both heads are capable of attacking and biting and both mouths can distribute the venom to their victims.
At least one person asked if it’s possible the two heads would fight over food, a question that has not yet been answered by experts.
“This is what nightmares are made of,” said Dorothy McColl Holmberg, summing up what many were posting after the snake was proven to be legit.