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Two-headed monster snake scares Ukrainian zoo visitors

Published time: July 13, 2011 12:26
Edited time: July 14, 2011 16:03

A Slavic fairytale about a multi-headed "dragon" has partially come true at a zoo in southern Ukraine.

An albino California Kingsnake arrived in Ukraine from a German snake-breeding farm. The snake indeed has two heads that breathe, think, react and eat separately.

As close as they could be, the heads, however, are not very friendly to each other. Zoo workers say that they have to put a barrier between them when feeding the snake.

"We should keep one head away from another when one of them eats,” Oleg Zubkov, head of Yalta Zoo, told the Associated Press. “One head is dominant, so sometimes she wants to take a mouse off the other head."

Healthy serpents of this kind are extremely rare, appearing only about once in every 50 years. Still, the zookeepers are optimistic about the animal’s future.

“In the wild, there is one chance in a million that a two-headed snake would survive,” said Zubkov. “But in the zoo she can live until she gets old. Normally, such snakes get really big.”

Locals have already nicknamed the snake “Gorynych” after the fairytale monster dragon killed by a brave knight. They are now sure there was at least some truth in the old legend.

The snake will be on display at the zoo until mid-September.