Nicolas Cage‘s beloved two-headed snake, Harvey died at 14-years-old this week after a long, healthy life educating Audubon Zoo visitors.
When you’re Nicolas Cage, you do things like spend exorbitant amounts of money on a two-headed snake, only to donate him to the Audubon Zoo. Sadly, however, both of Harvey’s heads have gone to the great beyond.
Had you met Harvey? Tens of thousands of visitors to New Orleans’ historic Audubon Zoo have. He was something of a star himself, like his original adoptee, Nicholas Cage.
That’s right: in life, Harvey was an incredible two-headed snake. A gorgeous spotted yellow gopher snake, to be precise. He was thought to be around 14-years-old at the time of his death Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021.
The news comes via the Audubon Zoo’s official Instagram. There, the team announces “the passing of Harvey, the Zoo’s beloved two-headed gopher snake.”
As the zoo cites, Harvey was donated to Audubon as a juvenile in August of 2008 by actor Nicolas Cage. As for the little one’s cause of death, “Harvey passed away due to health issues related to old age.”
So worry not, Outsiders. Harvey the two-headed snake lived a long, incredible life educating the public on his remarkable kind, though he will be sorely missed. Just look at those adorable faces:
As for Harvey’s sweet moniker, the little snake was named after Batman mytho’s Harvey Dent, who fans know is transformed into one of his most timeless arch-enemies: Two-Face. We’re not sure if Nicholas Cage gave Harvey the name himself, but it seems fitting as the actor is a passionate pop culture nut.
Nicolas Cage’s Former Pet Two-Headed Snake: A Medical Marvel
As for Harvey himself, both heads were fully functional from birth. This would enable the little gopher snake to live a long and healthy life. Though, it’s odd to think of Harvey as one single snake, as he was truly two conjoined twins. As Audubon cites: “one [head] was clearly more dominant than the other.”
We all have that sibling. And with two separate heads comes two separate brains. Should we refer to the late, adorable Harvey in the plural, then, as Harveys? Maybe so. I doubt we’d ever refer to two conjoined human twins by the same name to their faces.
Outside of these separate brains, however, “both heads shared a single pair of every other organ,” Audubon says. Harvey’s condition was the result of the incomplete division of twins during their embryological development. “In most cases, embryos with this abnormality fail to develop and die before hatching. For those that manage to successfully hatch, it is even rarer for two-headed snakes to survive to adulthood, as many have underlying physical conditions and internal anatomical deformities that cause problems.”
All of the above made Nicolas Cage‘s little pal beyond special. And as Audubon Zoo says, “Harvey will be missed dearly. Please keep our Herpetology team and the many others who loved Harvey in your thoughts.”