Copperhead sightings on the rise in Red River Gorge


SLADE, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – If you head to the Red River Gorge soon, keep in mind there has been a recent increase in copperhead sightings on the trails.

“Right now is just because there is more foot traffic in the area. There are more visitors coming to the Gorge and the weather has been perfect for them,” said Kat Dale with the Kentucky Reptile Zoo.

Copperheads are usually spotted at night, but because this time of year they are looking for dens, they’re more active. The snakes are more easily recognizable by their copper-colored heads.

“The easiest ways to identify a copperhead visually is to look at their side. The pattern looks like a row of Hershey kisses and the head, no matter what the color tone of the body, is going to be a coppery orange color,” Dale said.

Experts advise if you see these snakes, remain calm and let them be.

“They don’t see humans as something to seek out and attack or anything or even see you as just a really tall animal passing through. If you don’t get near them, they won’t bother the visitors,” Dale said.

It’s also important to stay on the trails that are not obstructed. Snakes like to hide, and nobody wants a surprise like that.

“Try not to step down directly at the side of the log because you may be putting your foot right in the doorway of someone’s hiding space and may startle them,” Dale said.

If you are bitten by a venomous snake, it’s important to stay calm and call 911.

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