Two-headed rattlesnake brought to Nature Center
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A normal day on the job for some linemen in Woodruff County turned into anything but normal when they found a two-headed timber rattler during a service call.
Rodney Kelso admits, when he first showed people photos of the snake he found, not many believed it was real.
"Matter of fact, one of them commented and said that's a neat trick," Kelso told Region 8 News. "I explained to him, that neat trick is in a box in my office. It's real."
His coworker Quentin Brown first spotted it while at work for the Woodruff Electric Cooperative Corporation. He snapped a photo and then threw a rock at it because he thought it was dead. It wasn't.
"He comes to the office telling me and showing me and I said 'Man, that's not something you see every day. Let's go back out there,'" Kelso said.
Region 8 News spoke with Kelso by phone Friday. He said he was glad that when he saw it in person, it wasn't quite as impressive as in the photos.
"The first picture I seen of it I thought it was a 3 foot or better timber rattler," Kelso said. "I recognized what it was. But when I got out there I was a little more confident I'd be able to catch it when I seen it was small."
The two-headed snake is actually about a foot long. He said no matter the size, he would have gone after it.
"I still would have done my best to catch it! Like I said, I've never seen anything like that."
Kelso's daughters, who attend Arkansas State, transported the snake dubbed "Deuce" to the Crowley's Ridge Nature Center.
Education Program Specialist Cody Walker said they were thrilled to see it.
"What we had was probably a baby, a newborn timber rattlesnake, much like this big four-foot snake you see right here," Walker said while he motioned to a display case behind him.
But he admits, that was about the extent of their knowledge on two-headed snakes.
"Does one head eat? Does the other head eat? In the wild, these things normally don't survive," Walker said. "It's gonna have some complications with making it so ASU is really the best place for it to have a chance to survive."
Walker said if things work out, they hope to get the snake back in the future.
"If they can get it fed and get it growing and everything looks okay and everything internally is okay and they can get a new exhibit, yeah we'd love to have it back out here at the nature center," Walker said. "But right now, for the safety and well being of the snake, we thought ASU would be the best place for it."
It's unknown how long the snake will be at Arkansas State.
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