Venomous or harmless? How to tell the difference between Carolina snakes
A snake found its way into the halls of a North Carolina middle school last week, and all heck -- including a call for an ambulance -- broke loose, ,reports the Chowan Herald and other media outlets.
An eighth-grader at Chowan Middle School in coastal North Carolina was bitten twice Friday by the snake, reported WAVY. The school is 160 miles northeast of Raleigh.
A Facebook post by the Chowan Herald said the snake was identified as a garter snake, which is non-venomous. The attack occurred after the student “inexplicably tried to pick up the snake” in the school’s hallway, reported the Herald.
It was not reported how the snake may have gotten into the school.
Garter snakes are considered harmless but have intimidating habits, including biting when handled, thrashing around and expelling “a strong-smelling musk,” according to Amphibians and Reptiles of North Carolina.
Media outlets did not report the size of the snake, but garter snakes can grow to 4 feet long, says the web site.
“The student picked up the snake by its tail and it bit her on the finger,” WTKR reported school officials saying. “Officials then said she dropped the snake and picked it back up again. That is when the snake bit her again on the hand.”
The student went to a hospital for observation, and the snake “was removed from the building,” the station reported.