By Frank Kummer |www.inquirer.com |
David Schneider and Dave Burket were out in the field this week scouring New Jersey’s pine barrens for timber rattlesnakes, one of the state’s most endangered species. But what the two herpetologists found was much more rare: a two-headed timber rattlesnake.
“I’ve been doing this professionally for 19 years,” said Schneider, who lives in Pennsauken, “and I’ve never seen this before. It’s really rare. Every once in a while, you’ll hear a story about a two-headed snake, or see something online. But it’s not common at all.”
The two men work for Herpetological Associates Inc., a Pemberton-based consulting firm that provides experts for habitat evaluations or wildlife surveys.
Burkett first spotted the snake and called out to Schneider. Their discovery was reported in the SandPaper, a newsmagazine of Long Beach Island.
“We know the areas where timber rattlesnakes give birth,” Schneider said in a phone interview Friday. “And so we went to one area just to check it out. And, sure enough we found a spot where a female had just had a litter of babies.”