It's birthing time for DC area venomous snake

WASHINGTON (AP) - It's birthing season for the Washington area's only venomous snake.

Female copperheads that became pregnant this year are giving birth to their young throughout September. The Washington Post reports ( ) that each mother gives birth to eight to 10 babies at once.

But Maryland Department of Natural Resources ecologist Scott Smith says only 10 to 25 percent of those baby snakes will live through the winter to reach adulthood.

As if the multiplying of snakes isn't scary enough, Smith says baby snakes lack muscle control. So if they bite a victim, they're more like to release all their venom.

Adult copperheads tend to release only the amount of venom necessary to incapacitate their normal prey, miles and voles.

Copperhead bites are dangerous, but rarely fatal.


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