Researchers study copperheads at Red River Gorge


RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) – Researchers are studying copperheads at the Red River Gorge to reduce interactions between people and snakes.

An Eastern Kentucky University statement says the Richmond school is working on the study with the U.S. Forest Service, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Louisville Zoo.

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Biology professor Stephen Richter says student researchers are measuring, tagging, releasing and tracking copperheads. He says the data will help determine how the snakes live, including where they hibernate, feed and breed.

U.S. Forest Service District Biologist Christina Wampler says the study’s results are helping officials make high traffic outdoor areas less attractive to copperheads.

Officials say people should be extra vigilant when hiking and camping. Richter says the best tip to avoid getting bit by a snake is to leave it alone.