A venomous copperhead snake was found in a Buckhead back yard recently, according to the North Buckhead Civic Association.

“Our home backs up to Little Nancy Creek Park and…while doing yard work near the creek we discovered and dispatched a copperhead snake,” a Stovall Terrace resident reported to the association, according to its newsletter. “Please remind everyone that the wooded areas along the creek do have poisonous snakes living there.”

A copperhead snake spotted in a Buckhead back yard in 2014. (File Photo)
A copperhead snake spotted in a Buckhead back yard in 2014. (File Photo)

Copperheads may be found throughout Atlanta’s suburbs and the top end Perimeter cities. The association’s website has photos of copperheads spotted in the neighborhood over many years, including one that crossed Old Ivy Road in 2007. According to a state Wildlife Resources Division snake guidebook, “Copperheads are apparently more tolerant of urban development than many snake species. Populations often persist in suburban neighborhoods as long as some patches of forest remain.”

Copperheads’ color varies from orange or pinkish to light brown to gray or black, with dark brown hourglass-shaped stripes. Most are under 3 feet long. The snakes sometimes hide under fallen leaves or other cover, so anyone clearing brush or walking through woods should watch for them. Copperheads usually bite only if they are handled or attacked, so experts advise leaving them alone and not attempting to kill them, according to the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory guide.

If someone is bitten by a copperhead, the Wildlife Resources Division says to call 911 immediately and keep the victim calm and immobile. For more information on identifying Georgia snakes and responding to snakebites, see the Wildlife Resources Division guide here.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.