Story By: Kathryn Quinn, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
This rare two-headed snake has been photographed by a walker strolling through a Polish forest.
The European Viper (Vipera berus) was spotted in a forest near Pultusk, a town in Poland by the river Narew, 43 miles north of Warsaw.
The walker, Sylwester Podlaski, said he found the snake on the Nasz Las pathway and reported it to the state forest organisation Lasy Panstwowe, who said that coming across the only venomous snake in Poland is an event but encountering one with two heads is even more rare.
A bite from the snake in rare cases can prove fatal, but for most people it is merely discomfort although it can take up to a year for the symptoms to disappear. This may explain why the man did not try and capture the snake.
Lasy Panstwowe posted the pictures, saying it was a unique find, although there have been other examples worldwide.
Warsaw Zoo Director Dr Andrzej Kruszewicz said: “This is not a one-off case. Two-headed species have often been described in literature.
“Examinations of the pictures showed that the body of the snake is normal, but one of the heads is more developed than the other.”
The State Forests in their publication about the unusual viper say the phenomenon also occurs in other groups of animals, such as birds and mammals. “However, two-headed individuals usually do not live very long. Therefore, meeting a two-headed snake in the wild can be considered a phenomenon.”
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.