Concord teen bitten by copperhead while trying to pick up snake

CONCORD, N.C. — A Concord teenager said he was bitten by a copperhead while trying to pick up the snake.

Tristan Tillman's finger is still swollen, days after the bite.

“It didn’t hurt at first, it's not like a burning bee sting,” the teen said.

Tillman said his sister ran over the snake on her bike. He then pinned its head down and tried to pick it up.

“I reached for it to grab it by the neck and it got me real quick,” Tillman said. “I looked up and there was blood all over my finger."

Tillman's mother called paramedics, and doctors tracked the venom from his finger through his wrist in about half an hour.

Carolinas Poison Center staff told Channel 9 they are handling four times the amount of snake bite calls compared to last year.

Director Michael Beuhler said the warmth and recent rain are to blame.

“Rain allows things to grow, and then things that are growing feed other things, and the snakes feed on them," Buehler said.

Experts said everyone needs to watch where they're walking. Copperheads will travel along waterways but they can be found on dry land a good distance away from that, officials said.

They encourage those who get bit to stay calm.

Tillman said he plans to spend more time inside.

If a snake bites you, experts say don't try to capture or kill it. A dead snake, or even a snake's detached head, can still bite because of its reflexes.

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