If you spot one, you should “remain calm and move away slowly,” the Park Service said on Facebook.
Scott Smith, a wildlife ecologist with Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources, said the recent rainfall is “driving a lot of critters out of their normal habitat,” which could be another reason the copperhead ended up on a fence on Park Service land in Southwest Washington.
He said anyone bitten by a copperhead should seek immediate medical attention and not try to treat the bite themselves.
“Like all wildlife in national parks, the copperhead is a protected species,” the Park Service Facebook post read. “And with up to 80% of their diet consisting of rodents, copperheads provide a very valuable service in controlling those populations in the park!”