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Two-headed snake undergoes surgery in Missouri

A two-headed western rat snake named Tiger-Lily underwent surgery to remove her ovaries due to a health issue. Photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation

A two-headed western rat snake named Tiger-Lily underwent surgery to remove her ovaries due to a health issue. Photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation

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March 21 (UPI) — A two-headed snake visiting the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Powder Valley Nature Center will have her stay extended to recover from surgery, officials said.

The two-headed western rat snake, named Tiger-Lily, was scheduled to leave the nature center this week, but the serpent will remain for a longer stay to be treated for a health condition detected by staff who noticed the snake sneezing blood after a feeding.

“This immediately raised a red flag with our staff, and we quickly got her an appointment with the Animal Health Team at the Saint Louis Zoo,” MDC Naturalist Lauren Baker said in a news release.

The veterinarians discovered Tiger-Lily’s ovaries were in pre-ovulatory stasis.

“Under normal circumstances the ovary would grow follicles, then ovulate them as eggs to eventually be laid. In Tiger-Lily’s case she began the reproductive cycle, but the follicles did not ovulate and instead continued to grow and remain static in her ovary. Over time this led to inflammation and the risk of infection,” zoo veterinarian Michael Warshaw said.

Tiger-Lily underwent successful surgery to remove her ovaries and is now recovering off-display at the nature center. Officials said she will remain at the facility while she recovers, which is expected to take about a month.

Tiger-Lily was found by a Stone County, Mo., family in 2017. Veterinarians said the snake is actually conjoined identical snake twins who failed to properly separate before hatching.

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