Officials identify pet snake that bit woman

Poisonous cottonmouth not native to Maryland

March 11, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A poisonous pet snake that bit its owner's girlfriend while loose in the owner's Annapolis apartment last week has been identified as a water moccasin, a spokesman from the Department of Natural Resources said yesterday.

The highly venomous water moccasin, or cottonmouth, is found in swampy areas of the Southern United States. It is not indigenous to Maryland. It is more dangerous than the two species of venomous snakes - the copperhead and the timber rattlesnake - that are native to Maryland.

Jacqueline L. Lee, 21, who was bitten on her left thumb, was in good condition at Anne Arundel Medical Center yesterday, a hospital spokeswoman said. She had been intravenously administered an antivenin and is expected to recover.

The snake was under newspapers on a coffee table at a home on St. Catherine Drive when the attack occurred. The snake's owner, Devin D. Conley, 29, killed it after the attack.

Maryland Natural Resources Police are investigating how Conley obtained the snake and whether he had a permit for it, said Department of Natural Resources spokesman John Surrick.

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