Wild Copperhead Snake Bites Child at Alabama Zoo

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Wild Copperhead Snake Bites Child at Alabama Zoo

The snake was not part of an exhibit at the Birmingham Zoo.

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A child visiting the Birmingham Zoo Sept. 24 in Alabama was bitten by a venomous copperhead snake (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) that was on the grounds at the zoo. The copperhead snake was not part of an exhibit, but was roaming the wooded areas near the Trails of Africa exhibit of the zoo, according to zoo spokesman Clark Maxwell. The snake was captured and the child was taken to the hospital. 

"It is a snake you would typically see in your backyard. . . The most important thing at this time is the child's medical needs," Maxwell said. "This could happen anywhere in Alabama."


No other details were released with regard to the child other than the zoo is working with hospital officials to determine what treatment the child will receive. 

Copperhead snakes are common in Alabama and throughout much of the Eastern Seaboard, from Southern New England to Maryland and westward to northern Alabama and southern Illinois. It grows to about 2½ feet in length and sometimes to 4 feet. They live from 12-20 years and feed on ground dwelling birds, small rodents, amphibians and lizards.