A woman in Western Australia got double the surprise when she happened upon a two-headed bobtail lizard baby in her backyard. The lizard and two of its siblings were just born underneath a log when the woman made the discovery.
The woman, identified only as Jo, told West Australia Today that the two normal lizards, also known as shingleback skinks in the reptile hobby, walked off right away but the third lizard was having some difficulty.
The woman took the lizard to the Dunsborough Veterinary Hospital, where unfortunately they had to euthanize it, deeming it unable to survive in the wild. Veterinarian Shamus Henry told the Daily Mail that the lizard’s second head was not structurally attached and didn’t have a neck vertebrate attached to the body, like how a “normal” two-headed lizard would.
“When the body of the bobtail moved it trapped the second head underneath it and was dragged,” Henry told the Daily Mail, adding that the bobtail was also in respiratory distress and was a poor candidate for saving.
“We are pretty proactive about saving wildlife, but it wouldn’t have been fair to try,” he said.
The lizard was sent to the Western Australia Museum where it will be studied.