On Wednesday, South Carolina park volunteers were patrolling a beach when they came across a surprise: a baby sea turtle with two heads.
A group of patrollers and volunteers at Edisto Beach State Park were making a routine inventory to check on sea turtle nests when they stumbled across the special hatchling, South Carolina State Parks said on Facebook.
According to the park, they begin digging into turtle nests about three to five days after they start showing signs of major emergence. This is how the nest’s success is determined, depending on how many eggs hatch. They also search for live hatchlings that didn’t make the trip to sea.
One of three live baby loggerhead sea turtles was found in a nest.
“This two-headed hatchling is the result of a genetic mutation,” South Carolina State Parks said. Although other two-headed hatchlings were found in South Carolina over the years, this one was a first for Edisto Beach State Park’s patrol team.
After the group took some photos, the turtles were released into open ocean.
Most sea turtles hatch in the summer, though they can hatch throughout the year, according to Sea World.
Humans must not disturb the nest as this can put the survival of baby turtles in danger. Sea World says that hatchlings with a disturbed turtle nest have a 25% chance of survival.