Last Updated on August 3, 2021 by MyGh.Online
A two-headed turtle had been hailed a “very rare” find by conservationists.
The shock discovery was made at Edisto Beach State Park as the volunteer turtle watch team were carrying out a routine check on nests to help maintain their population and safely release baby hatchlings into the Ocean.
It was one of three live hatchlings found during a patrol last month in South Carolina when volunteers dug into turtle nests three to five days after they emerge to determine the success of the nest.
According to the group’s Facebook page, South Carolina State Parks reads: “While performing an inventory this past Wednesday, patrollers and volunteers found three alive loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings still in the chamber, but one hatchling, in particular, stood out because it had two heads!
“This two-headed hatchling is the result of a genetic mutation.
“Other two-headed hatchlings have been found in South Carolina in past years, but this is a first for the patrol team at Edisto Beach State Park.
“After a few photos, this hatchling, along with the two others found, were released into the ocean.”
A two-headed species – side-by-side is known as Polycephaly – and can also occur in other reptiles.
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And in 2019, another group of turtle watchers found the same discovery – a two-headed turtle – at South Carolina’s Hillside.
This turtle’s discoverer, Jayme Davidson Lopko, wrote in a Facebook post:
“Sea turtle patrol follows rules set by the State Department of Natural Resources which calls for us to protect the nests and turtles but to also allow as natural a process as possible.
“We do not take hatchlings off the beach to raise or rehabilitate. This little guy is on his own just like his brothers and sisters that came from the nest and like they have been doing for millions of years. Good luck and safe travels special guy!”
The team named their find Squirt and Crush after Nemo’s reptilian pals before releasing them into the Ocean.
Sadly, their chances of survival are extremely low, with constant threats from hungry birds, crabs, and small animals.
Not to mention, two heads on one body only makes the journey that much harder.