In a rare phenomenon, a two headed Russell's Viper was found in Maharashtra on Thursday.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the snake was rescued from Kalyan’s Gandhare Road area. The snake is 11 centimetres long, with its two heads measuring 2 centimetres each. The width of the snake is 1 cm. A Kalyan resident called local snake rescuers, War Rescue Foundation (WRF), after spotting the Russell’s Viper outside her building.
Taking to Twitter, IFS officer Susanta Nanda shared the video of the snake. "Two headed Russell’s Viper rescued in Maharashtra. Genetic abnormality and hence low survival rates in the wild. The Russell’s Viper is far more dangerous than most poisonous snakes because it harms you even if you survive the initial bite," she wrote alongside the video.
According to experts, the growth of two heads in the snake is due to genetic abnormality. "As these species have a low survival rate owing to possible genetic modifications, the previous snake had died. However, this snake, currently at the Kalyan range office, looks much better," Jitendra Ramgaokar, deputy conservator of forest (Thane), told Hindustan Times.
This not the first time that a two headed snake has made news. In 2019, the same NGO (War Rescue Foundation) rescued a two-headed Russell's Viper. The snake was taken to Haffkine Institute, Mumbai, for research under the guidance of the Forest Department. But, the reptile died while the research was underway, states a report by Mid-Day.