Frederick Co. Snake Trapper Bitten By Copperhead, Recovering In The Hospital

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FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ)– A woman is recovering in Frederick County after a frightening incident.

As Jessica Kartalija explains, she was bitten by a 4-foot-long poisonous snake and lived to talk about it.

Most people see a copperhead and take off running. But Tammy McCormack, she runs toward them

“I trap, transport, release,” she said.

For 15 years, McCormack has been a certified snake specialist. That was until a 4-foot copperhead grabbed a hold of her.

“She got me right there. It’s extreme pain. It feels like a major bee sting,” she explained.

This, after Tammy McCormack was called to a house in Silver Spring Wednesday night.

It was dark and raining and the pregnant snake was spooked.

“I’ve always been very cautious and very careful, but this was one time when she got me before I could get my glove on to get her out,” Tammy McCormack said.

She popped two Benadryls, loaded the snake in her Jeep and drove home.

“Here I am,” Tammy McCormack said. “I had just the pointer finger swollen, but the time I was in Damascus, it had gone all the way to my midarm.”

“Brave. She goes into places I wouldn’t go to,” Tammy McCormack’s husband Jason McCormack said.

Now at Frederick Memorial Hospital, Tammy McCormack has a sense of humor about the whole thing.

She will still wear the snake on her wrist and carry her snakeskin purse. Fake, of course.

And says doesn’t blame the copperhead at all.

“Just because this is my line of work, mistakes do happen and this was a big error on my part,” Tammy McCormack said.

Believe it or not, the wasn’t the first time she was bitten by a snake. She was bitten 10 years ago by another copperhead, but she tells WJZ, that snake bite was not as bad because the snake did not release any venom.

Copperhead bites can be fatal for children and the elderly. Tammy McCormack says that if anyone is ever bitten by a snake, they need to get to a hospital immediately.

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