MONROE COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — A Monroe County man had an unexpected and unwanted encounter with wildlife in his own yard.
Jeffrey Wilkins never thought he would encounter a venomous snake in his freshly cut grass, as copperheads can usually be found in rocky or wooded areas.
“I mowed my yard Saturday morning at about 10 o’clock. Everything was a smooth, nice day,” said Wilkins.
Before settling in for the night, Wilkins went outside to check both gates.
“I went through the front and checked that gate actually and then went around and I get here and I went to lock the gate back because I noticed it was unlocked.”
After locking the gate, he turned to go back inside, and by the time he saw the snake, it was too late.
“I turned about right here and took maybe two-step and it laid right here and that’s when it got me,” he said.
The pain was so bad, that Wilkins fell to the ground. He had to call his wife who was inside the house, and she took him to the emergency room.
“I don’t need anti-venom which is a good thing,” Wilkins said. “The snake shot just very little venom in me.”
Wilkins is recovering from the unexpected guest and is taking extra precautions to make sure it doesn’t come back.
“The leg just feels like I’ve slept on it for four or five days now.” He adds, “we have put out moth balls and snake be gone since that.”
He’s also warning his neighbors to stay cautious when in their yards.
“I watch my step even more. I always watch my step but now I’m just really afraid.”
Copperheads are one of four venomous snakes you’ll find in Tennessee.
Jeffrey’s doctors say it will take him a couple of weeks to fully recover. According to TWRA, death from a copperhead bite is extremely rare.