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Rangers find three-eyed snake in Australia's Northern Territory

By Ben Hooper

May 2 (UPI) -- Wildlife officials in Australia shared photos of an unusual reptile found by rangers in the Northern Territory -- a three-eyed snake.

The Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission shared photos on Facebook of the python, which had an eye on either side of its head and a third eye near the center of its skull.

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The commission said an X-ray revealed all three of the snake's eyes appeared to be functional. Experts said they suspected the snake had two heads forged together, but the X-ray showed it was a single skull with an extra eye socket.

"It was generally agreed that the eye likely developed very early during the embryonic stage of development," the Facebook post said. "It is extremely unlikely that this is from environmental factors and is almost certainly a natural occurrence as malformed reptiles are relatively common."

Officials said the snake, dubbed Monty Python by rangers, was estimated to be about 3 months old when it was found, but it died shortly after its capture.

"It's remarkable it was able to survive so long in the wild with its deformity, and he was struggling to feed before he died last week," ranger Ray Chatto told the NT News.

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