Snake bite prompts warning about copperheads - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Snake bite prompts warning about copperheads

Posted: Updated:
The northern copperhead. (DEEP photo) The northern copperhead. (DEEP photo)
Weston, CT (WFSB) -

Officials are warning about the dangers of copperhead snakes after a boy was bitten earlier this week.

The volunteer fire department in Weston said the 14-year-old boy was visiting the Devil’s Den Nature Preserve when he reached out to touch what is believed to be a copperhead.

The teen was on a field trip at the time.

"It was clear you could see the puncture wounds on his thumb, inside of his hand, indicative of a venomous snake," said Mark Blake of Weston Fire/EMS.

Emergency responders arrived after a 911 call was made.

The boy was taken to Norwalk Hospital where he received treatment. The injury from the bite was said to be non-life-threatening.

Officials were unable to capture the snake itself, but based on the description provided by the victim, they believe it was a copperhead.

Blake said one of the Weston Fire/EMS member's sons spotted a copperhead in his yard just two weeks ago.

"Snakes are very common. I think they're a lot more common than people think they are," Blake said.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the copperhead is one of two venomous snakes in Connecticut. The other is the timber rattlesnake.

Steven Jayne and his family said they hike through the Devil's Den Nature Preserve often so news of a poisonous copperhead snake striking a teenager's hand isn't going to stop them, or others.

"I'm a big fan of nature and all it's glory," Jayne said. "This is the home of the animals that live here. You're a visitor, be respectful of their environment, just like you'd expect anyone coming into your house to be respectful of your environment."

"Its pretty crazy. Makes me a little nervous, but I'm not going to go playing with animals, steer clear of that," said Megan Collins of Trumbull.

Copperheads can be identified by their keeled dorsal scales and distinctive pattern of yellow-brown hourglass-shaped bands on a coppery brown dorsum, according to DEEP. Its yellow eyes have vertical pupils. All other snakes in the state have round pupils, except the timber rattlesnake.

They can be 24 to 37 inches long and eat mice, other rodents, insects, small birds and frogs.

Officials said that though large populations of copperheads still exist, they have declined in Fairfield County and are rare there.

DEEP said they can reside in basalt ridges, talus slopes, rocky hillsides, open woods, edges of swamps and meadows.

Its bites are typically not fatal, officials said.

The teen was released from the hospital and is recovering.

More information on copperheads in Connecticut can be found on DEEP’s website here.

Details on other snakes found on the state's snake guide here.

Copyright 2015 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Snake bite prompts warning about copperheadsMore>>