Local/State

Raleigh boy attacked by venomous snake

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Raleigh boy was bitten by a venomous copperhead snake over the weekend.

Typically when there is cooler weather the reptiles go into hibernation, but snakes are being spotted in several people's backyards in Raleigh.

Second grader Carson Goathcer was playing outside over the weekend when he saw a copperhead in his neighborhood near the intersection of Ebenzer Church Road and Glenwood Avenue. Seconds later he was bitten.

Goatcher told ABC11 he thought the snake was not real because it was not moving. However, soon after he picked it up, he learned it was not a toy.

"He kept striking at me again, and again," said Goatcher.

Goatcher started yelling for help and had to be rushed to the ER.

"His thumb doubled probably in size. He told us he felt some pain on the way to the hospital. By the time he got to the hospital it was completely numb. He couldn't bend it or in any direction," said Carson's mother, Emily Goatcher.

"I was crying half way there," said Carson.

Goatcher is doing okay but there are some puncture wounds left on his hand, and his mother is still stunned over what happened.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission says copperhead bites are not very common and that fall is a transitional time for snakes

"These cooler days in October signal to the snake 'hey I need to do find some food'," said Jodie Owen with NC Wildfire Resources Commission.

The Wildlife Resources Commission says reptiles are looking to get one last meal in before they hibernate for the winter. They advise to make your yard less attractive to snakes by keeping the grass cut short, raking leaves, and cleaning up debris outside.

"If you see one in the wild just walk away. It doesn't want to have any more to do with you, than you want to do to it," said Owen.

The Wildlife Resources Commission adds that your risk of being bitten is greater if you agitate a snake, which is a lesson Goatcher has learned.

"Don't touch coppers, especially them and don't touch snakes period," said Goatcher.

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