On the morning of Monday, August 16, Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) biological technicians discovered a live, two-headed loggerhead sea turtle hatchling during one of their routine sea turtle nest excavations.
The excavation occurred south of Ramp 32 on Hatteras Island, in between the villages of Avon and Salvo.
“Overall, genetic deformities of sea turtle hatchlings at the Seashore and around the world are common. However, finding a live, two-headed sea turtle hatchling is rare,” stated Seashore spokesperson Michael Barber in an email. “In the last five years, Seashore staff have found two, two-headed sea turtle hatchlings, both of which were deceased when discovered.”
Seashore biological technicians released yesterday’s two-headed sea turtle into the ocean, and it successfully swam away.