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2009-06-25 digital edition

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2009-06-25 / Front Page

Local Principal Bitten by Copperhead Snake

Ruth Marguardt of Lexington found this 35" long Copperhead as she was working in her flower garden. This is unusually large for a copperhead. Ruth handily dispatched this unwelcome visiter with her sharpshooter. Local EMS asks local gardeners to be on the lookout for these guys when working in the garden. Ruth Marguardt of Lexington found this 35" long Copperhead as she was working in her flower garden. This is unusually large for a copperhead. Ruth handily dispatched this unwelcome visiter with her sharpshooter. Local EMS asks local gardeners to be on the lookout for these guys when working in the garden. Area citizens are being advised to use caution when working in their gardens, watering their lawns or simply walking through tall grass. The Lexington EMS has responded to three or four 911 calls about people being bitten by snakes and, according to EMS Coordinator Reuel Cooper, there have been at least two or three other incidents where individuals drove themselves to the hospital after being bitten.

Just last Thursday, Lexington Elementary School Principal, Lynette Brown, was bitten by a copperhead snake while she was walking in her yard. She ended up spending two days in intensive care before being released from Scott and White Hospital last Saturday.

Cooper said, "People need to be very careful this time of year when they are picking berries or going out in their yards. Copperheads are looking for places to get cool and a watered garden or lawn may be their spot of choice."

According to the website www.tigerhomes.org, the American Copperhead snake, more commonly referred to simply as a "Copperhead," is one of the most well known poisonous snakes of North America. While they are not known to be aggressive and normally have a quiet disposition, when threatened, startled or stepped on, they will vigorously defend themselves from danger, usually biting whatever is in their space.

A Copperhead is overall chestnut in color with dark brown bands crisscrossing the length of its rust and copper colored body forming a striking geometric crossband pattern. This pattern is wider in the center of the body narrowing towards each end.

One must be careful when exploring the wilderness because it is these same beautiful markings that give the Copperhead its natural camouflage. When a Copperhead snake coils up on a bed of fallen leaves they become virtually invisible.

Cooper said, "When you're out in the yard or garden, the last thing you need to have on is flip-flops. Gardeners should wear long rubber gloves this time of year to help prevent accidental provocation of a snake in the grass."

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