Venomous copperheads mating on busy Lancaster County bike trail


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Jesse Rothacker, of Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary, says a pair of venomous copperheads decided to have their most intimate moment on a busy Lancaster County bike trail this weekend.

Rothacker says the serpent sweethearts were out looking for love Sunday afternoon, but the cuddling copperheads became potentially dangerous to hikers and bikers once they began to slowly cross the busy trail.

Rothacker showed in a Facebook video how the reptiles look just like a fallen stick at a glance, then zooms in to show the snake species that causes the most venomous snake bites in the United States.

Copulating Copperheads – Venomous Valentines

It's not every day we get to rescue a pair of copperheads from a busy bike trail! The sweetheart serpents were on a hot date, when we happened to ride by on our bikes. We took a brief video while directing trail traffic away from the venomous valentines, before we helped them move their relationship to the next level in a more intimate setting, away from hikers and bikers.

Posted by Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary on Sunday, September 8, 2019

The video shows Jesse Rothacker filming the copulating copperheads up close, and illustrating how they mate while directing hikers and bikers around them.

Rothacker then moves the dangerous duo off the trail to finish their intimate encounter somewhere a little more private, and safe from the busy traffic on the trail.

Copperheads are found all across Pennsylvania and are the only venomous snake in Lancaster County, according to Rothacker.  He says venomous snake bites occur about 6-7 thousand times annually in the United States, and copperheads are involved in more bites than any other snake.

Rothacker says copperheads will not bother you if you leave them alone, but while most snakes are known to be spring breeders, some snakes including copperheads have a second fall breeding season.

Rothacker advises people to be cautious in snake habitat as this season continues, and always look where you step or ride.

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