Southeast Mo. man dies from copperhead bite

Jul 4, 2012

A southeast Missouri man died from a copperhead bite this past weekend. It’s only the second recorded copperhead bite fatality in the state and the first since 1965.

A copperhead bit 50-year-old Terry Brown Saturday night while he was camping  along the Current River  in southeast Missouri.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, these cases are extremely rare.  Most snakebites occur when people try to handle snakes, or from not watching  their hands and feet.

Missouri State Herpetologist Jeff Briggler says snakes are most likely to bite young men between 17-27 years of age. He says this age group is more likely to spend time in the woods and risk picking up the reptile.

“Of our venomous snakes, most of them have actually mild venom, the copperhead  has the least toxic venom of all of them, compared to the Timber rattlesnake which is larger in size," said Briggler.

Briggler says snake bite victims often die from a heart attack caused by the venom.