Copperhead or look alike? Experts weigh in on Triangle snake sightings

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Folks are taking to social media to question whether they've spotted a copperhead snake slithering around Umstead State Park in Raleigh.

We call the warm temps, occasional showers and intermittent sunshine an early spring, but wildlife specialist Jeff Matte has another term for it.

"So we've had good snake weather," said Matte.

So good that several snakes have been spotted at the Umstead State Park. Many people told ABC11 they were Copperheads, but Park Rangers and experts said it was likely a counterfeit.

"There are a number of snakes in our area that are at least small and brown," said Matte. "The commonly confused snakes are like brown snakes and earth snakes."

Mole snakes are found in gardens. They eat small rodents and insects. Experts said they look similar to copperheads but aren't nearly as deadly.

"He's got a tan body and dark bands and those are even features that copperheads have," said Matte.

As for Copperheads, they're very small, fat snakes with dark, hourglass-shaped patterns. You can find them anywhere from your backyard, to the woods and even the walking trail.

"That's because Copperheads don't want to be around humans. They're very small animals and they're going to take any opportunity that they can to escape an encounter with a human," said Matte

While it's uncommon to come in contact with one, experts said you should just use common sense if you do.

"The only thing you really need to do to avoid a bite from a Copperhead is to avoid getting too close and you can do that basically by staying on the path and looking at what's in front of you and knowing where you're putting your hands and feet or when you're working in the yard," said Matte
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