Copperhead snakes found in Overton Park - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Copperhead snakes found in Overton Park

Copperhead snake (Source: WMC Action News 5) Copperhead snake (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - When the temperature increases, the snakes come out, and that's exactly what's happening at Overton Park.

The good news: most of the snakes you run into are not poisonous.

Memphis Zoo Reptile Keeper Sarah Hasenstab says there are 30 kinds of snakes in our area, but only two are poisonous. 

"Near the zoo, we see everything from copperheads--which is the only venomous snake in Overton--and then lots of different things: king snakes, rat snakes, about five species of common water snakes,” Hasenstab said. 

So, what is the difference between a venomous snake and a non-venomous snake? Look at the sides. 

Specifically, for a copperhead snake, there is a very unique, Hershey Kiss-like shape on its side. 

Hasenstab said that while copperheads can easily blend into wooded areas, they aren't likely to attack. 

Snakes coming out into the open during warmer weather do not shock most residents. 

"I'm really not surprised by seeing them, there's a bunch in Memphis,” Jeremy Smith said. 

While many of us may be afraid of any snake, Memphis Zoo employees say it's important that we do not kill them. 

Many snakes are helpful and play a vital role in the local ecosystem. 

For example, the king snake has been known to eat copperhead snakes along with other animals in the Mid-South. 

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved. 



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