YouTuber Gets Bitten by Venomous Snake in Maryland While Looking for Reptiles

A YouTuber has been bitten by a venomous snake while looking for serpents in Maryland.

Steven Johnson, whose YouTube channel features various outdoor adventures, was bitten during a trip to Marshy Point Nature Center in Baltimore County.

"Let's get to it and see what we can find," Johnson said to the camera—in a video posted on June 20—as he entered the center, which is located within the 400-acre Marshy Point Park.

Initially, his efforts to capture some snakes on film were unsuccessful.

"So far, all I've found is a garter snake that fled before I could get the camera on and a tiny little worm snake that went down a hole that he was already going down by the time I flipped the rock—and again couldn't get the camera on in time," Johnson told his viewers early in the video.

He then decided to keep the camera rolling to increase his chances of capturing something. But walking down one trail, he felt a pain in his leg and yelped in pain, as can be seen in the video footage.

"Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Not good. Not good at all," Johnson said.

He then pointed the camera toward his leg, revealing two small dots of blood on his calf. A snake, which he identified as a copperhead, could also be seen on the ground.

After being bitten, Johnson shouted to a nearby hiker for help and asked them if they could get hold of a ranger. Eventually, some park officials arrived and attended to Johnson, while a ranger captured the snake in order to remove it from the area.

Johnson told emergency responders that the wound stung a little but was not excruciatingly painful as would be expected from a copperhead bite. He was still taken to hospital, where doctors told him that he had suffered a dry bite—meaning the snake had not released any venom into his body.

"They said it was a dry bite as I thought. Thankfully, no pain at all other than the initial bite, which just felt like thorns going into my leg. Absolutely crazy, insane," he said in the video.

Ben Porter, park manager of the Marshy Point Nature Center, told CBS Baltimore: "It's the first snake bite in Baltimore County parks in roughly 20 years. Although copperheads are found throughout the state of Maryland, people don't really see them very often."

In fact, park officials said they had never heard of or even seen a copperhead snake in this area.

North American copperheads are split up into five subspecies. The snakes are widespread across the eastern half of North America, according to the University of Texas at Arlington's Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center. While they are venomous, the snakes are not generally aggressive. Nevertheless, their bite can be painful and should be treated as serious, although they are rarely fatal.

"If venom was injected the pain would have been excruciating. An important lesson for if you find a snake on a hike—just give it its space," Porter said. "Respect it and let it be in nature where it belongs. It's still a great time to take a walk in the woods. You just wanna glance down at your feet every now and then."

Despite being bitten, Johnson took some time in his video to raise awareness about snake bites, noting that the copperhead had attacked him out of self-defense.

"Don't judge these snakes," Johnson said in the video. "Snakes aren't just going to jump up and bite you in the ankle because they want to. Snakes defend themselves. So that's why when people say snakes get aggressive, I like to say no, they're not aggressive, they're defensive. If you step on a snake like I did today, by accident, it's going to bite."

Northern copperhead snake
Stock image showing a northern copperhead snake (agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) on leaf litter in New Jersey. A man walking on a trail in Maryland was bitten by a copperhead. iStock