Two-Headed Western Rat Snake Called Tiger-Lily Undergoes Surgery To Have Ovaries Removed

A rare two-headed western rat snake called Tiger-Lily is doing well after surgery to remove her ovaries after they became inflamed.

Picture shows the two-headed snake Tiger-Lily, undated. They have a health issue. (MDC/Newsflash)

The delicate operation took place recently at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Powder Valley Nature Center, in the US state of Missouri.

The snake was being given a checkup after staff noticed that she was sneezing blood after a feeding, with MDC Naturalist Lauren Baker saying: “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.”

This is when the veterinarians discovered that there was an issue with the snake’s ovaries.

Veterinarian Michael Warshaw told local media: “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.”

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The snake is now recovering after successfully undergoing surgery to remove her ovaries.

She will remain at the facility until she recovers. Which officials said could take up to a month.

Tiger-Lily was originally found by a family in the wild in 2017. She has the peculiarity of being two conjoined identical snake twins who failed to properly separate before they hatch, according to local media reports.

The western rat snake (Pantherophis obsoletus), also known as the black rat snake. Is native to central North America.


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