Harvey, a rare two-headed gopher snake, donated to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans by Nicolas Cage, has died. He was considered to be between the ages of 14 and 14.
The snake, which was named after the Batman villain Harvey Dent, also known as Two-Face, was given to the zoo by Nicolas Cage in 2008. Harvey’s death was announced by Audubon on Instagram on Wednesday, with the organization noting that the reptile died as a result of “health concerns associated with old age.”
“We are sad to announce the passing of Harvey, the Zoo’s beloved two-headed gopher snake,” the zoo posted on Instagram, alongside a photo of the yellow-scaled snake.
The snake suffered from an uncommon disorder termed bicephaly, which occurs when twins do not fully divide during embryonic development. According to Smithsonian Magazine, many snakes with this ailment do not grow normally and perish before hatching, and only a few survive to adulthood.
Harvey possessed complete control over both heads, “although one was clearly more dominant than the other. Although Harvey had two separate brains, both heads shared a single pair of every other organ.”
Before donating Harvey to the Audubon Zoo, Cage, 57, had good memories of him. He recalled a gathering at his previous historic New Orleans residence, the LaLaurie Mansion, where Harvey was almost cast in Werner Herzog’s 2009 film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.
“We had a big party, Werner came over, and, at the time, I owned a two-headed snake, which I had spent a lot of money on and subsequently donated to the Audubon Zoo,” Cage told Interview Magazine in October. “But I brought it out, and everybody was freaked out by it. Werner said, ‘Now, Nicolas, we have to put that into the movie.’ I said, ‘No, I’m not putting it into the movie because this is personal.’ So he filled the movie with snakes, iguanas, and alligators, but he never got the two-headed snake.”