You may have seen a Facebook post going around warning anglers to look out for snakes hiding in the mouths of fish.
The original post reads: "Fellow Anglers beware. Several snake bites this season have come from baby copperheads found alive inside of feeding fish. With the top water bite happening now the snakes get more oxygen to prolong their life inside the fish while the fish continues to feed."
It turns out this post has been circulating since at least 2009, and that "copperhead" is actually a garter snake. The photo first appeared in a gallery on Outdoor Life which said the snake was "half-swallowed."
But could a copperhead live in the mouth of a fish and harm some unlucky angler?
We turned to Keith Stevens, who's been working with Arkansas Game and Fish for 16 years.
“That would be extremely rare,” said Stevens. “The odds of that happening are almost nil. If the fish had a snake in its mouth, it is swallowing it.”
Stevens added that this is what fish do, they eat their food. He cited other fish prey, such as worms and bugs, as prove that fish successfully consumer their prey.
“There is no chance of that happening,” said Stevens.
So, while the snake may be real, it is not a baby copperhead nor should it be considered dangerous.
Keith Stevens, Arkansas Game and Fish
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