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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Workers at a business park in Ballantyne were greeted by a 3-foot-long copperhead snake Thursday morning.
"A customer called, found a snake skin that was freshly shed and saw the snake a couple of feet away," said David Crowe, a wildlife biologist and operator of Critter Control. "The snake was stretched out in the pine straw.
"They've been there for seven years and this is the first time they've seen a snake in the natural area in front of the complex."
Crowe said copperheads are venomous.
"A snake this size can put you in the hospital," he said. "The bites are very painful and they can bite more than once."
Crowe said most copperhead bites happen when someone accidentally steps on the snake.
"These guys are stalk hunters. That is to say they'll get in an area that's shade and light, curl up and wait for something to come across their nose," he said.
Crowe said copperheads can be recognized by their striking coloration and brown bands around their body.
"The bands are lightest in color at the flanks of the snake and thinnest at the ridge of the back," he said.
The snakes also typically hold their heads at a 45-degree angle, which is a characteristic unique to copperheads.
Crowe said the black snake is probably the most common in this area, but his company has captured copperheads all over Mecklenburg County.
"They're everywhere," he said. "You would think they wouldn't be in Dilworth because of historic land use, but we catch a copperhead in Dilworth about every year or so."
Credits: By NewsChannel 36 Staff - WCNC.com