JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Early in the morning of Oct. 8,, 628th Civil Engineer Squadron pest management technicians responded to a call about a snake on McCombs Way, the popular running trail used for organized PT and recreational use on the Air Base.
Anthony Mincey, the Installation Pest Management coordinator with more than 30 years' experience, identified the snake as a Copperhead, a venomous snake native to the area, and although rarely lethal, their bite is extremely painful and requires emergency medical attention.
But copperheads also assist in controlling rodents and large insects, so the CES team captured and relocated the almost two-foot long snake to an appropriate location.
According to Mincey, snakes are present in the LowCountry throughout the year, but are most commonly seen in the early fall months when searching for food to help them survive the winter. They can also be seen sun bathing during the day due to cooler night temperatures. They are rarely seen on base; in the last 10 years Mincey has only captured one snake a year on average.
The Airmen who reported the snake took the proper steps when they found the snake; they kept their eyes on it, stayed at a safe distance, and guided fellow runners around the area. Additionally, they did not try to remove the snake themselves, as most people are bitten by copperheads while handling or attempting to kill the snake.
If you see a snake:
1) Do not touch it
2) Stay calm
3) Call CE Customer Service at 963-2392 [available 24 hours]
4) Keep your eyes on it from a safe distance until assistance arrives
If you are bitten by a Copperhead or other poisonous snake:
1) Seek emergency medical attention immediately
2) Immobilize the area and minimize walking
3) Stay calm