Rare two-headed calf dies

March 1, 2009 at 12:15 PM
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ALDRICH, Mo., March 1 (UPI) -- A Missouri farmer says he is unsure what he will do with the carcass of a rare two-headed calf that died a day and a half after birth.

The brown bull calf was born with two fully formed heads connected to the body just behind the skulls, said Scott Cliff, a farmer in Aldrich.

"I just couldn't believe it. We've never seen anything like it," said Clift, who raises beef cattle.

The calf, born Wednesday, was unable to walk and was bottle-fed by Clift's family until it died Thursday, the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader reported Sunday.

Animals born with two heads, a condition known as polycephaly, are "pretty darn rare" and usually die shortly after birth, said Eldon Cole, a livestock expert with the University of Missouri Extension.

A number of two-headed snakes have lived for years, including an albino rat snake named "We" that lived to be 8 years old before dying in 2007 at the World Aquarium in St. Louis.

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