Pender Co. woman recovers from copperhead attack - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Pender Co. woman recovering from copperhead bite

Experts say that copperheads and other snakes are very common in southeastern North Carolina especially during the warm summer months. (Source: WECT) Experts say that copperheads and other snakes are very common in southeastern North Carolina especially during the warm summer months. (Source: WECT)
Jessica Swencki was doing yard work at her home in Burgaw when an unfriendly visitor came along. (Source: WECT) Jessica Swencki was doing yard work at her home in Burgaw when an unfriendly visitor came along. (Source: WECT)
PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

A Pender County woman is recovering from a venomous snake bite that she says almost took her life.

Jessica Swencki was doing yard work at her home in Burgaw when an unfriendly visitor came along.

"All of a sudden I feel some heat on the back of my leg and it felt like my leg was on fire," said Swencki.

That fire was actually a 24" copperhead that took a chunk out of her ankle, causing her entire leg to swell up instantly.

Lucky for Jessica, her husband Akirah was nearby.

He pulled up the truck and they were off to the hospital within minutes.

"His quick response got me treated within 15 minutes. So I'm very thankful for that," said Swencki with a smile. "I guess he has to put up with me a little longer."

Experts say that copperheads and other snakes are very common in southeastern North Carolina especially during the warm summer months. New Hanover County Wildlife Removal Expert Jimmy English says most of the calls he gets are about snakes.

"Just about every day in the summer time," said English.

On Wednesday, English captured a 2' copperhead from a woman's back yard in Ogden. He found it right next door to the same house where he discovered 17 copperheads just two years ago.

"I ain't going to take no chances. I ain't going to put my hand on one," said English. "Nothing but a damn fool would pick up a poisonous snake with his hands, I don't care who he is." 

It's hard to tell where snakes are hiding, but Swencki has a theory.

"This is a perfect example of what not to have in the yard," Swencki said while pointing to an old log. "Anything lying on the ground can be an attractive for snakes...this is a yard full of hazards. This rock pile, is a great heat source with lots of nooks and crannies for a snake to hide."

Swencki and English both say it's important to keep your eyes down and wear shoes or boots if you plan to be out working in the yard.

"I've lived in the country my entire life, and I know better than to wear flip flops when I'm working in the yard," said Swencki.

Swencki is still in pain but responding well to the treatment and hopes to be back at work next week.

English says the most common time to see snakes in your yard is when the sun goes down near dusk.

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