All you ever wanted to know and some things you did not
Copperhead snakes are pit vipers or crotalids (family Crotalidae); poisonous snakes that are named for the two heat sensing pits used to locate prey that are positioned between the eyes and the nostrils.
Snake bites began early in 2017; copperheads posing threatASSOCIATED PRESS
ATLANTA — Authorities say they’re seeing a large number of snake bites in Georgia.
Officials at the Georgia Poison Control Center have seen 55 snake bites so far this year.
Dr. Gaylord Lopez of the poison control center says they saw their first snakebite call of 2017 during the first week in January, which is very early compared to most years.
More than a third of their snake bite calls are copperhead bites. Lopez says they are the least venomous of the four dangerous snakes in Georgia, authorities said.
The best antidote for a snake bite comes with a steering wheel, Lopez said.
“We tell people the best antidote for a snake bite is a set of car keys,” he said. “Get to the nearest emergency room and get yourself treated.”
Mitchell Jeffords considers himself lucky despite spending three days in the hospital after a copperhead strike near a Georgia lake.
“It swelled up to almost foot long circumference,” Jeffords said.
Doctors monitored his swelling to see if he would need antivenin which patients receive after a snake digs its fangs into your skin. Doctors say Jeffords never needed it.
“They give me fluids for dehydration (and) blood thinner; took (my) blood pressure; kept (an) eye on me,” Jeffords said.
Copperheads have a strong smell. I have heard it describes as like cucumbers. I don't think so, but it is a strong and unusual odor so it should alert you. They are viviporous so they bear live young in large batches. This is, IMO, the most danderous trait. They will bear the young in a sunny patch of grass where an unsuspecting person might walk by. The venom of young copperheads is as potent as the adults, more concentrated actually, and you can get beset by a cluster of the spawn if you step in them. So they don't make good pets.
Up here in Atlanta, when someone is bitten by a poisonous snake, it almost always is a copperhead---a painful bite, but not nearly as dangerous as bites from poisonous snakes more common below the Gnat Line---coral snakes, rattlesnakes and the aggressive water moccasin. Even inside the densely populated city, there are enough woods to support some of those populations, some not even far from downtown. A few years ago I recall some people dying from rattlesnake bites in the rural Piedmont, near Greensboro and Monticello. Of course as the Atlanta area continues to build up and out, the snake population gets pushed further out.
But usually no alligators up here...when they are, sometimes it is someone who foolishly keeps one as a pet, and when it gets too big, dumps it in the Chattahoochee...
Did you see the snakes vs iguanas segment on Planet Earth II? Best thing on TV for years:
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