Patient Number 2013-00571 Agkistrodon Contortrix Mokasen
Northern Copperhead

Case number 2013-00571 had one of the shortest stays on record at the wildlife center. The northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contor- trix mokasen) arrived on May 20th – rather unceremoniously attached to a glue board trap.

A word about glue board traps. If you chose to use them to catch mice and rats, please make sure that you do not inadvertently catch non-target species. Close the glue boards into a square to make a tunnel for the mouse. Most are made to be used in this fashion. Then place the trap against a wall so that the mouse has to go through it to move along the perimeter of a space. Mice and rats use perimeters and stick close to walls as they move. If glue boards are used in this fashion, bats, snakes and birds will not be accidently caught in them. 

VERY CAREFULLY, we used a non-toxic solvent to remove it from the trap and then very quickly, bathed it to remove the solvent from the fragile scales. The snake was on its way home the next morning! This is one of two venomous snakes found in New Jersey. It is an un-common snake in its range and is a state species of special concern. No one has ever died from a copperhead bite in New Jersey. These snakes will not chase you, but they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. Keep your distance! 

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