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This two headed snake which is very extraordinary is found in Louisiana. Wildlife educator Tanee Janusz, 39, adopted the western snake when a fellow member of her naturalist society found it slithering around his garden. She named these two headed snake Gumbo and Filo as a tribute to their hometown, New Orleans. The twins share a tail, but sometimes they can’t control the direction of their shared body, because Gumbo is more dominant than Filo.
“The only difference is making sure that their water bowl is not too deep as the dominant head will drag the non-dominant head down into the water,” says Janusz.
Janusz describes when the first time she saw them she had thought they were the neatest little things ever. She believes that two-headed snakes were not totally unheard of but they were pretty rare and this was the first time the owner had been in charge of caring for one.
Despite the condition, Gumbo and Filo may live relatively normal lives and survive the lifespan of most western rat snakes, which is 10 years in the wild and 20-25 years in captivity.
Now Janusz takes twins into schools and libraries to educate people about the rare animal and encourage humans to become more understanding of the importance of wild animals. Gumbo and Filo are surprisingly popular, she says.
“In my community, it’s often said that the only good snake is a dead snake”, “the best thing is just letting people look at them,” she added. “Their exceptionality makes people lower their guard down a little bit and makes them more open to talking about them.”
The two headed snake is cared for by Janusz and her children Nick, 17, Josh, 14 and Katie, 11, who also look after their mom’s other rescue animals.