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Man Shoots Copperhead After It Bites, Clings To Woman's Hand

PERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) -- A Fayette County woman is back at her campsite just three days after being bitten by a venomous snake.

Tanya Jeffries, of Redstone Township, was collecting wood along the Yough River Trail Sunday evening when she felt a slight sting on her right hand.

She looked down to find a Northern Copperhead snake attached to her finger.

The snake was about a foot and a half long, the diameter of a quarter.

She tried frantically to get the snake off of her finger, but it clung to her for about four minutes until another camper shot it with a handgun.

Jeffries was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital where she was given anti-venom medication and released the next morning.

She didn't go home, instead returning to the river where Northern Copperheads are not uncommon.

Perry Township Assistant Fire Chief A.J. Boni says he has never seen another person be bitten by a venomous snake along the trail.

He says that snakes are not uncommon along the trail, but if you leave them alone they will leave you alone as well.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission says you can tell a venomous snake by looking for a few indicators.

Northern Copperheads have elliptical-shaped eyes, a triangular-shaped head and an indentation on the side of the head between the eye and nostril.

If you are bitten by a venomous snake you should not wait for symptoms to develop. Call 911 and get to a hospital immediately.

As for Jeffries, she says she won't let this keep her out of the woods but she will be more careful when she is collecting wood.

She doesn't know the name of the man who shot the snake on her finger, but hopes he sees this story so he will know that she is thankful.

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