The North Carolina Zoo closed off its kids’ area Thursday afternoon after a copperhead bit a 5-year-old child. The zoo, located in Asheboro, sits on 500 developed acres surrounded by wilderness, so it’s not uncommon to see snakes inside.
But zoo staff are trained on how to remove venomous snakes safely.
Emergency crews treated the child, who is recovering at an area hospital. The child’s condition is still unknown.
Zoo guest Angela Jones says she’s seen a snake before.
“I just keep them in front of me. I look ahead just to make sure we don’t cross any paths… We just have to watch where we step,” Jones said. Jones urges others like her to be mindful, including looking in small spaces. “Even in your shoes,” she said. “Baby snakes can be in your shoes. They can be anywhere.”
Zoo staff members urge parents to be aware of the wildlife environment, especially when you have children playing. There are several warning signs about venomous snakes located throughout the zoo.
The signs tell you what to do when you see a native snake in the area and urge you to keep your distance.
It’s unknown at this time when the zoo’s Kidzone will reopen.
Officials with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are urging North Carolinians to report certain types of snakes now that the weather is warming up, and snakes are becoming more active.
Wildlife diversity biologists with the NCWRC request that if you see a snake, do not be alarmed, do not kill it and give it plenty of room.