Campers, game wardens kill 13 copperhead snakes at Kansas lake

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FILE (Larry Smith/Flickr) FILE (Larry Smith/Flickr)

It was a traditional Fourth of July weekend at Fall River Lake for Steffani Comer, her family and friends. But the fun weekend turned into a snake hunt after her friend was bitten by a copperhead.

"He had three bites on his ankle," Comer said. "He had an air-flight, four doses of antivenom. He either stepped on or stepped to close. He didn't know that they were there."

They managed to kill some of the snakes slithering through their campsite and turned them over to game wardens.

"We killed eight in three different days and then finally the park rangers and game wardens came to help participate," Comer said. "And that evening they helped kill three more."

Comer said the wardens even burned a log where some of the snakes were living. 

One of Comer's friends said on Facebook that a total of 13 copperheads were killed at the lake over a nine-day period. 

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"Copperheads aren't rare in Kansas," said Marc Murrell, director of the Great Plains Nature Center. "A matter of fact, in the Fall River-Toronto area that's probably in the heart of their range."

Murrell said copperheads are venomous, are relatively small and can easily blend in with the foliage. 

"As their name implies, they are different shades of copper -- colors with with light and dark bands on the snake itself ."

He added that the copperhead's bite is very painful. 

"It's a burning sensation and there are two puncture marks typically."

Comer's friend is now out of the hospital, but she said camping trips will never be the same. 

"He's getting fixed up. He will recover," she said. "The thought that it could have been someone or something that couldn't recover, that's a scary thought/"

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