Cape Cod

Rare 2-Headed Baby Turtle Thrives at Massachusetts Animal Refuge

The turtle originally came from a nest in West Barnstable that researchers determined was in a hazardous location and needed to be moved

New England Wildlife Centers A rare two-headed turtle seen on a gloved hand.

A rare two-headed diamondback terrapin turtle is alive and kicking — with all six of its legs — at the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts after hatching two weeks ago.

A threatened species in the state, this turtle is feeding well on blood worms and food pellets, staff at the New England Wildlife Centers say. The two heads operate independently, coming up for air at different times, and inside its shell are two gastrointestinal systems to feed both sides of its body.

The turtle originally came from a nest in West Barnstable that researchers determined was in a hazardous location and needed to be moved. After hatching, turtles in these so-called "head start" nests are sent to different care centers to be monitored before their release in the spring, The Cape Cod Times reported.

Center veterinarian Pria Patel and other staff will continue to monitor the turtle in the coming weeks. They're hoping to perform a CT scan to learn more about its circulatory system.

Sea turtles along the Texas Gulf Coast were unaccustomed to frigid water temperatures during the February 2021 winter storm that shut down the state. NBCLX Contributors Benjamin Lowy and Marvi Lacar followed Sea Turtle Inc. rescuers as they pulled "cold stunned" turtles out of the water and brought them to warmth and safety.

Copyright AP - Associated Press