CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Snakes in North Carolina are becoming more active, as one Cary found out the hard way when a copperhead bit a 9-year-old inside her own garage.
Jacie Marks was headed out of her garage last week to watch the sunset with her dad when she suddenly felt a sting on her foot. She thought a stick or something had fallen on her foot, but then when she looked down she knew it was worse.
"I looked down to go throw it and I realized that was snake," Marks said. "It was scary."
Marks' family rushed her to WakeMed where doctors treated the bite and made her comfortable.
"We're really thankfully they took prompt action and really helped her," her mom Jocelyn said.
Area hospitals are reporting an uptick in snake bites from July 1st through the first week of August.
UNC Health reports 70 patients being treated for snake bites. Duke Health doctors have treated 20 copperhead bites alone. WakeMed said it has seen a 75 percent hike in snake bites from the same time last year.
Dr. Ben German is an Emergency Room physician at WakeMed and is known as a snake bite expert.
He was a part of the team that captured a zebra cobra slithering through a North Raleigh neighborhood in 2021 and has traveled to Asia to study reptiles.
German said there's likely an increase because more people are moving into new developments where there have been natural snake habitats. He said our recent weather is also likely to blame for the increased snake activity.
"Those two factors can get the snakes moving around a little more," German said.
Most of the injuries he's seeing in the ER are on the foot and ankle.
German's reminding people to stay vigilant and protect yourself.
"Good leather shoes will stop the snake's fangs from getting into the tissue and injecting venom," German said.
Marks is on the mend after her snake bite and working towards a goal of walking on her own.
"Crutches are not that fun," she said.
Her doctor said she will likely deal with swelling off and on for several months.