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Reptiles and Amphibians in the News

Monday, June 16, 2008

Copperhead Bite

A Massachusetts man was bitten by a venomous snake while out in the woods near Springfield, MA. He thinks it was a copperhead. He's a snake enthusiast who was grabbing for a garter snake under a rock when he got tagged by a larger snake. (News source.)

Because copperheads (and timbers) are rare in the state, a DNR biologist stated: "'It would be surprising to find either of the venomous snakes of Massachusetts (the Northern copperhead and the timber rattlesnake) in Chicopee.
"'It's a fairly developed town and it's some distance from the nearest known locations of those venomous snakes. They're typically found in remote mountainous areas' within the valley, he said.
"'I've heard that most of the bites from venomous snakes are from captive animals. So it's possible this could be a captive animal that escaped or that was otherwise set free,' Jackson said."

Apparently, baseless rumors are "good science" with the MA DNR. (For the record, most bites from venomous snakes involve drunk men playing with snakes, wild or captive. It's not "captivity" that makes snakes more prone to bite; quite often, they're more docile than wild snakes.)

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