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Girl bitten by snake at Brown County SP
Start Date: 7/15/2019
Event Description:

A 7-year-old girl was bitten by a snake while playing with other children on her campsite at Brown County State Park on July 13 around 9:15 p.m.


Doctors said they expected the girl to make a full recovery. 


The girl ran around the outside of the family’s tent into the edge of the wood line. After she complained of two puncture wounds on her ankle, her father checked the area and saw a snake. Park staff believe the bite came from a copperhead snake. 


The family called 911 and transported the girl to meet the ambulance at the park entrance. The ambulance started for Columbus Regional Hospital but was diverted to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.


Park staff attempted to catch the snake, but it escaped through heavy foliage. Indiana Conservation Officers, Brown County First Responders, Brown County Sheriff Department and Nashville Police also responded. 


While rare, copperhead bites have occurred in the park before, and they have had the same factors in common—they happened after dark, and the person involved was not using a flashlight in a poorly lit area. 


Tips to consider in order to prevent encounters with snakes in the park:


  • Stay on designated trails and mowed areas. Snake are less likely to come out in the open.

  • After dark, snakes will move around to hunt for food or lay on warm roadways. Stay in well-lit areas or use a flashlight. 

  • Keep your campsite clean. Snakes feed on rodents that may be drawn to human food wrappers. Debris on the ground may draw rodents to the campsite, and snakes may follow.

  • If you are camping in an area where there are snakes, occasionally check your campsite to make sure no snakes are passing through.

  • If a snake does come on your campsite, stay away from it, keep kids and pets away from it, and notify the campground office, which will alert other park staff.


Copperheads are natural members of the ecosystem and food chains of the Brown County area. Copperheads mostly feed on small rodents, which has a large impact on reducing tick populations.


“When we play in the same environment that copperheads live in we just need to be careful and take a little extra caution,” said Patrick Hauler, the park’s interpretive naturalist.


It is illegal to kill snakes on Indiana State Parks property. 


All DNR news releases can be found at

Contact Information:
Name: Patrick Haulter
Phone: 812-988-5240
State calendar entry type:
Press Release
State calendar entry category:
State calendar classification:
  • Residents
  • Visiting and Playing
  • Agency Name:
  • Natural Resources, Department of

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