MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD)- Many people are taking to social media saying they have seen a lot of copperheads in the Lowcountry lately. A lot of these reports have come out of the Park West neighborhood in Mt. Pleasant, and homeowners are concerned about the safety of their families and pets.
Candice Thomas lives in Park West and encountered one of these venomous reptiles. She says, “It was a very scary experience, and I never want to go through that again.”
She discovered a copperhead next to her fence when her dogs started trying to dig to the other side. These snakes are great at blending in and will usually hide in flowerbeds or under bushes.
Thomas says, “I could not see it. I took a step to the left to kind of see what was in the grass that had my dogs so crazy acting, and when I stepped away that’s when I noticed it down in the ground ready in a striking position.”
You’ll spot a copperhead by its hourglass pattern. According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), they haven’t had any more copperhead calls than normal for this time of year. However, the snakes are more active right now as they gear up for winter and find a spot to make their den. DNR says new developments in the area could also be a factor.
Thomas says, “People have been telling me in the area where I live that it’s due to all the construction that’s going on that’s disturbing a lot of the wildlife, reptiles and snakes included.”
Candice killed the snake she found outside of her fence. Snake experts say they recommend leaving it alone because trying to kill it puts you in more danger. But Candice says she didn’t feel she had a choice.
She says, “I did what I needed to do, given the knowledge that I had, and knowing it was poisonous because I didn’t want it to hurt someone.”
Copperheads won’t be active for much longer. Josh Zalabak, Herpetologist at the South Carolina Aquarium, says as soon as the temperatures are consistently in the 50s and 60s the snakes will disappear until spring.