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Old 10-17-03, 10:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2 headed snake named Mary-Kate and Ashley

Boy finds two-headed snake

Friday, October 17, 2003 Posted: 10:17 AM EDT (1417 GMT)

Hunter York, 10, holds a two-headed snake Sunday at his father's home in Centertown.

CENTERTOWN, Kentucky (AP) -- Hunter York was afraid of snakes, but he couldn't resist the two-headed reptile he found.

The 10-year-old said he picked up the black king snake with a stick, then noticed it grabbed the stick with two heads.

"I ran in the house and said, 'Dad, this snake has two heads.' And he said, 'What?"' Hunter said. It "kind of freaked me out a little bit."

The 81/2-inch female reptile hasn't eaten since Hunter found it October 4.

Hunter's father, Rodney York, loaned the snake Tuesday to snake hobbyist Scott Petty to see whether he could induce it to eat.

"We couldn't force-feed it, because we don't know which head eats," York said.

York said he jokingly named the snake Mary-Kate and Ashley, after the teenage TV and movie stars, the Olsen twins.

York says he's considering a brief stint in show business for the snake once he learns more about it.

"If they're that rare, I'm going to hit up [talk-show hosts David] Letterman, [Jay] Leno and everybody I can think of," he said. "I'm going to milk it for all it's worth."

Ed Zimmerer, a Murray State University biology professor and herpetologist, estimated the occurrence of a two-headed snake at 1 in 10,000. "They usually don't live too long," he said.

The snake might be unable to determine which is the dominant head or have some internal problems that interfere with eating, Zimmerer said.

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