Reality Check: Venomous snakes in Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The type of snake that bit a Madison County man was one of the four types of venomous snakes found in Kentucky.

Copperheads and the other three types of venomous snakes are among 33 snakes species living in the commonwealth, according to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension Service.

On Sunday, a man was bitten by a copperhead in his backyard in Berea. Because a nearby hospital told him it didn't have the antidote to treat copperhead bites, he tried to drive more than 40 miles to UK Hospital in Lexington.

In addition to copperheads, the other venomous snakes found in Kentucky are the Western cottonmouth (water moccasin), timber rattlesnakes, and pygmy rattlesnake.

Copperheads, which are the most common, are found throughout Kentucky. But they are most rare in the "inner Bluegrass" region which includes parts of all of Bath, Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Harrison, Montgomery, Nicholas, and Scott counties. Copperheads prefer to live in hilly forested areas with rocky cliffs and ravines.

The college's booklet "Snakes: Information for Kentucky Homeowners" says copperheads cause the majority of venomous snake bites in Kentucky, but their bites are almost never fatal.

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