|01-03-2006, 06:36 AM||#1|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
Looking For a Two Headed Snake?
I found you one. Little pricey but she's (he's) the only one in the world.
Two-Headed Snake for Sale
By JIM SALTER, Associated Press Writer
ST. LOUIS - For sale: One snake. Albino. Has two heads. Asking $150,000 or best offer. The World Aquarium in St. Louis has been home to We, a one-of-a-kind two-headed albino rat snake, since 1999. President Leonard Sonnenschein has decided to sell the reptile, and bidding on eBay will start at $150,000.
"It's an amazing snake," Sonnenschein said Monday. "When people see it they are awe-struck."
The 6 1/2-year-old snake came to the aquarium's attention when its previous owner distributed a circular offering it for sale days after its birth. The aquarium paid $15,000, knowing full well that most two-headed snakes don't live more than a few months.
But We has survived and thrived. An inch thick and 4 feet long, she is a healthy size for a rat snake. While its body is white, the heads have a reddish appearance.
We has survived because, unlike some two-headed animals, both mouths are connected to the same stomach, Sonnenschein said.
Van Wallach of Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology said We should live an additional 10 to 15 years. And Sonnenschein said it's at a ripe age for breeding.
"We expect the sale of We to be on the same level of demand as a priceless art object," he said.
The snake has been in the spotlight before. In 2004, a disgruntled City Museum worker stole We. Authorities found the snake in the garage of the man's home in Illinois.
"He thought he was going to sell it," Sonnenschein said. "The thing is, it's the only one in the world."
The snake has female genitalia, though Sonnenschein believes one head is male and the other female.
Sonnenschein said the decision to sell We was a difficult one, "but somebody would probably like to have it more than us, and we can use the money for our education, conservation and research programs."
The organization donated more than 9,000 desktop aquariums to families and schools last year, works with students from more than 20 universities and high schools to promote understanding of the underwater world, and is involved in programs aimed at protecting against overfishing in the world's oceans.
The aquarium sits on the second flood of the City Museum, an eclectic St. Louis attraction that draws about 650,000 visitors each year.
Sonnenschein said We would make a great zoo attraction or could be purchased by the leaders of some foreign land where mythology surrounds two-headed snakes.
"We think it's a very valuable animal," he said.