BARNHART, Mo. (KMOX) – A family in Barnhart makes a scary discovery on their porch – a copperhead snake.

Joe Jerek of the Missouri Department of  Conservation says the coldblooded reptiles like to get sun in the morning to warm up, but then will go find a shady spot as the day gets hotter.

He says never try to pick them up, but use a shovel, rake, or broom to scoot them away.

The snake is protected under Missouri Wildlife Code – so you can’t just kill them. However, they can only be killed if they present a threat.

Jerek also points out that venomous snakes eat rodents and birds and since they’re predators, they go where their dinner is which includes cities and urban settings.

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