www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/forest-hill/ph-ag-snake-bite-0717-20130716,0,4064086.story

baltimoresun.com

Camper treated for copperhead bite in northern Harford

BY BRYNA ZUMER, bzumer@theaegis.com

1:54 PM EDT, July 16, 2013

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A camper was bitten by a copperhead snake at a camp in Street in Northern Harford County on Monday night, the camp's manager confirmed.

Camp Moshava executive director Jennifer Silber said the camper remains in stable condition at a local hospital.

"It was an older camper that got bit on their toe," Silber said. "They went to the hospital right away. The camper is doing fine."

Whiteford Volunteer Fire Company responded to the call, reported about 10:15 p.m. as a "snake bite" on monitored Harford County emergency radio broadcasts.

Silber declined to disclose the camper's age or other information about the victim. She said the bite happened on the campground but not during any specific event or activity.

Camp Moshava, off of Cherry Hill Road, is a Jewish camp that describes itself as a "kibbutz-style Zionist" camp. It currently has about 80 campers from elementary to high-school age, Silber said.

Silber said this is the first time the camp has seen such an injury in its 30 years in Harford County.

DNR and emergency medical services responded to the incident, she said.

She said the camp will be taking precautions as advised by the Department of Natural Resources, primarily making sure everyone wears closed-toe shoes and stays in lighted areas.

An exterminator will also be coming out to inspect the camp, Silber said.

The northern copperhead is one of only two types of venomous snakes found in Maryland, according to the DNR website. The timber rattlesnake is the other.

Historically, Harford County has been known to be home to copperheads, particularly along the Pennsylvania border and in wilder areas of local state parks. In recent decades, however, there have been differing opinions among local wildlife experts about the size of the county's native copperhead population – or if one in fact continues to exist.

The Maryland Poison Control Center hears of two to six venomous snake bites annually but people rarely die from them, even without medical treatment, according to the DNR website.

DNR representatives did not immediately return a request for comment on the incident Tuesday morning.

The heat is apparently making it more likely for snakes to come out, Camp Mosava's Silber said.

For a copperhead bite, "they basically monitor the person to see if he is stable," Silber said. "We are not expecting any complications."