Chesterton Tribune



Presumed copperhead bites girl at Brown County State Park campsite

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A 7-year-old girl was bitten by a snake presumed to be a copperhead on Saturday at Brown County State Park, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.

According to DNR, at 9:15 p.m. the girl was playing with other children at her campsite when she ran into the edge of a woodline near her tent and was struck by the snake, believed to be a copperhead. After his daughter complained of two puncture wounds to the ankle, her father checked the area and saw the snake.

The family then called 911 and transported the girl to the park entrance to meet an ambulance, which started for Columbus Regional Hospital but was then diverted to Riley Children’s Hospital.

Doctors stated the girl will make a full recovery, DNR said.

DNR employees attempted but failed to catch the snake in the heavy foliage. They were joined by Indiana Conservation Officers, Brown County first-responders, Brown County Sheriff’s Police deputies, and Nashville Police.

While rare, there have been other copperhead bites at Brown County State Park and they have had the same factors in common: occurring after dark and involving those not using a flashlight in a poorly lit area.

Some safety tips:

--Stay on designated trails and mowed areas. Snake are less likely to come out in the open.

--After dark, however, snakes will move around to hunt for food or lie on warm roadways. So stay in well-lit areas or use a flash light.

--Keep your campsite clean. Snakes feed on rodents and human food wrappers, and debris on the ground may draw rodents to the site and the snakes may follow.

--If you are camping in an area where there are snakes, check your site occasionally to make sure no snakes are passing through.

--If a snake does come on your site stay away from it, keep kids and pets away from it, and contact the campground office to let the park staff know.

“Copperheads are natural members of the ecosystem and food chains of this area,” DNR said. “Copperheads mostly feed on small rodents. Together their controls on rodent population actually have a large impact on reducing tick populations. So they have their part to play in our environment. When we play in the same environment that they live in we just need to be careful and take a little extra caution. It is illegal to kill snakes on Indiana State Parks property.”



Posted 7/15/2019




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