A two-headed baby sea turtle was discovered Tuesday morning on a Florida beach by two interns while conducting research.
The researchers with the University of Central Florida Turtle Research Group found the rare loggerhead hatchling while performing nest inventory on a Brevard County beach. As the interns were recording how many turtles had hatched from marked nests, they had to “do a double take” when they noticed a baby turtle with two heads.
The baby turtle was just big enough to fit snuggly in their palm.
“We’ve never seen anything quite like it, but it sure is amazing!”
“We’ve never seen anything quite like it, but it sure is amazing!” the UCF Marine Turtle Research Group shared on their Facebook page.
In a comment, the lab wrote the little loggerhead was “alive and energetic” when they discovered it, and although the hatchling isn’t expected to make it very long or very far, they decided to release it back into the ocean to give the baby a chance. It’s success “depends on what it looks like internally” the researcher added in a tweet.
“Hatchlings with these abnormalities typically have other developmental problems and don’t survive very long. But we gave it a chance.”
According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, only about one in a thousand sea turtles born every year on the coasts of Florida make it to adulthood.
The rare and cute turtle certainly got its 15 minutes of fame and moment in the sun!