Sunday 02 April 2023

Two-headed turtle hatches, and has a healthy life ahead

Sorte the turtle. Photo: Jeffrey Groenweg ANP

A two-headed turtle has been born alive at a Dutch breeder’s and vets say it has every chance of living a long and healthy life.

The turtle, nicknamed Sorte has two heads and two tails, but one shell. And vet Anton Fennema, who examined the animal using a CT scan, says it probably has a long life ahead of it.

Sorte hatched last week at the home of breeder Ruben van Schoor from Putten, north of Amersfoort.  ‘I keep turtles as a hobby and it is very special to have one like this,’ he is quoted as saying in the AD.

The scan showed that Sorte, which means ‘luck’ in Portugese, has four front feet and two air pipes but one heart and intestinal system. And that, vets say, mean the turtle is one, not two, animals.

Although Sorte would have run into trouble in the wild, with two heads possibly wanting different things, having one heart and stomach means there is no issue with food.

‘The most important thing to me is that Sorte stays healthy,’ Van Schoor said. ‘I am going to do my best to make sure this happens.’

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