The city in its latest newsletter urged visitors to Harris Shoals Park to take caution in light of the copperhead snakes discovered there in late June.
A young girl visiting the park was bitten by a copperhead while playing in the shoals at the beginning of last week. City administrator Sharon Dickerson updated The Oconee Enterprise this past Friday, stating that the girl was in serious
but stable condition.
As well, the snake warning signs that were illegally removed from the park have now been reinstalled. Though the signs are there now, the city wanted to give additional guidance for people visiting the park.
Since copperheads are venomous snakes, it is recommended that anyone bitten call 911 and go to a hospital as soon as possible.
Additionally, copperheads may be hard to see because of their camouflage. Generally speaking, copperheads have a light tan or brown color with darker brown crossbands that look like hourglasses or Hershey Kisses when viewed from the side.
The younger, or juvenile, copperheads can be particularly hard to spot. The juvenile snakes can be identified, though, by their brightly colored green, yellow or whitetipped tail that the adults do not have.
Most importantly, the city urged that copperheads are opportunistic biters, so those visiting Harris Shoals should look where they reach or walk.
People can use tools to flip over and check rocks or leaves instead of using their hands or feet. This is a safer option, as copperheads tend to strike and bolt in random directions, sometimes toward people, when frightened.