What to Do If You Encounter a Venomous Snake

GREGG TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- By now, many of you have heard about the 73-year-old great-grandmother from Bucks County. On Monday, she encountered a cobra snake in her backyard. Kathy Kehoe believes the snake escaped from a neighboring apartment, and she killed it with a shovel to protect nearby children.

"To just walk out and find somebody to help her, the snake could slither away, and you wouldn't have any clue where it was, so I think in a home you have to kill it," Clyde Peeling said.

Clyde Peeling owns Clyde Peeling's Reptiland near Allenwood. He is an expert when it comes to venomous snakes, and even showed us this cobra which is similar to the one Kehoe came across.

"Grabbing something with a long enough handle, that they're not going to get bitten in the process," Peeling said.

Even so, Peeling says if you encounter a venomous snake in the wild, just walk away and give it some space.

"Just step around it, they're not going to attack you," Peeling said.

Cobras are native to Asia, so it's not likely you will encounter one around here. There are three venomous snakes in Pennsylvania, the timber rattlesnake, the Copperhead, and the Massasauga.

People Newswatch 16 spoke with aren't sure what they would do if they came face to face with a venomous snake. Anna Marie Leavens of Elysburg saw a snake in her pool recently but did not know what kind it was.

"I just took it with my net and took it out and saved its life because I didn't want it to drown. That's what I did but I didn't know what it was," Leavens said.

"I think I would get really scared and maybe run, or if I did have a shovel like that woman I may put the shovel on it," Karen Crane said.

According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, you are allowed to kill a venomous snake if it's in defense of your life, but you must report it to authorities. If you do get bitten by a venomous snake, call 911 immediately.

1 Comment

  • savescrantonhistory

    I guess I broke the law multiple times as a kid then. Since I killed who knows how many venomous snakes during my summer visits to my dad’s place in Springbrook Township and we never reported a thing to any wildlife commission. Every day going across the road he lived on to get the mail there was a 50/50 chance there’d be another one in the gutter near the mailbox. So I just started taking a shovel or whatever with me to hit them with. Cutting the grass was especially fun too. It was like playing venomous whack a mole with the snakes popping up from in the grass. I’d run up to them just to chop their head off.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.