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BROWN CO., Ind. — A 7-year-old girl is in the hospital after being bitten by a venomous Copperhead snake in Brown County State Park over the weekend. She’s expected to make a full recovery at Riley Hospital for Children. 

This was a rare occurrence, says Nate Engbrecht of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

“We don’t get very many reports of venomous snake bites,” Engbrecht said. “Every once in awhile, we’ll hear about one.”

There are four species of venomous snakes in Indiana, according to the DNR. Along with the copperhead that bit the girl, there are also timber rattlers, massasaugas, and cottonmouths. 

Although venomous snake bites don’t happen often in Indiana, Engbrecht says you should still always be looking out for snakes in general if you’re hiking or camping.

He says if you do spot one, keep your distance. Don’t try to grab it and pick it up.

Engbrecht added that you should be extra aware and cautious of snakes if you’re in a heavily forested area. 

“The copperheads and timber rattle snakes tend to like these dry, forested, hilly areas,” he said. “So if you’re hiking down a trail, you just want to maintain that awareness. Make sure you’re watching the ground, watching your step.”

He says that’s why he wasn’t surprised that Saturday’s incident happened at Brown County State Park.

“The venomous snake sightings that do happen, tend to happen in that area — Brown County, Monroe County, and Morgan County,” Engbrecht said. “I think part of that is because there’s just a lot of habitats and forests down there.”

He also mentioned that snakes like to be around large logs, so look twice before stepping over them when you’re hiking.

(Photo courtesy of Indiana Department of Natural Resources)