Parking monitor bitten by Copperhead in downtown Columbia

The approximate location of the bite. (Source: Google Maps)
The approximate location of the bite. (Source: Google Maps)
A file image of a Copperhead. (Source: SCDNR)
A file image of a Copperhead. (Source: SCDNR)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A City of Columbia parking services employee is recovering after being bitten by a Copperhead snake while working downtown last week.

According to the city's public relations department, the unidentified enforcement monitor was working in the area of Washington Street and Sumter Street on May 6 when the incident took place.

The employee was given antivenin and she is expected to make a full recovery, city officials said.

A spokesperson for the city says officials have not been able to confirm any reports that the snake has been captured.

According to the state Natural Resources Department, Copperheads are South Carolina's most common venomous snake. Their habitat range can include mountain coves and forests, but sightings in urban environments are rare.

There are lots of Copperheads in South Carolina, but you don't usually see them in the downtown area. Snake expert Scott Pfaff says snakes typically try to stay away from people.

"Very often when they bite in self defense they don't inject any venom at all because they're not trying to kill you. They just want you to leave them alone and go away," said Pfaff.

Experts say if you see a snake, leave it alone. If you are bitten, you should seek medical attention right away.

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