'That's scary.' Rattlesnake births gnarled two-headed baby, South African park says


A western diamondback rattlesnake went into labor and among her 11 babies was a startling creature with two heads.

The strange birth was reported Jan. 25 by the Venom Pit Snake Park, a snake and reptile sanctuary near East London on the South African coast.

"What luck we had with one of our pregnant female western diamondback rattlers dropping this 2-headed baby today," the park wrote on Facebook.

"Too bad it was a still born but still amazing to see and actually be real."

Western diamondback rattlesnakes give birth to live young, rather than laying eggs that hatch outside the womb.

A photo shows the two-headed snake appeared to be two vipers braided into a creature with one tail.

The same mother gave birth to 10 other babies that appeared to be normal, according to park officials, who shared images of the 10 other snakes.

Park officials didn't report what became of their freakish two-headed carcass.

Reaction to the announcement has been a mix of fascination and horror on social media. Diamondbacks are not native to Africa, and have a venomous bite that immobilizes prey by attacking the blood system.

"That's scary," Bev Chandler wrote. "As if one head isn't enough."

"Couldn't believe my eyes," Lourens Barnard said.

The Venom Pit is "home to Africa's most deadly snakes as well as the world's rarest," according to TripAdvisor.com. It is among the largest snake parks in Africa.

Western diamondback rattlesnakes are native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, according to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. They can reach 7 feet and live 20 years.

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