Northern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen)
Native to Fairfax County
Orion was captured here at Riverbend Park by an experienced naturalist. Visitors get a chance to visit with and learn about Fairfax County's only venomous snake in a safe environment. Learning to identify a copperhead helps to stop the killing of the 15+ types of non-venomous snakes living in Fairfax County.
The key to recognizing a copperhead is the pattern on the body. The color on copperheads can be highly variable and is not reliable for identification. The copperhead has an hour-glass shape draped across its body. The thin middle of the hour-glass is on the middle of the snake's back. Please remember to always keep a safe distance from an unidentified snake!
In the wild, the copperhead is rarely seen due to its elusiveness and shyness. This non-aggressive snake usually strikes when stepped on or provoked. If you are bitten go to the hospital immediately; however, the bite is rarely, if ever, fatal to humans. In the state of Virginia, no recorded human deaths have occurred from a copperhead bite.
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