A copperhead snake in a tree at a Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Denver, N.C., bit a customer on Monday, authorities said.
The East Lincoln Fire Department posted about the snake bite on its Facebook page, complete with a picture of the snake inside a clear plastic bag.
“This could happen at any store that sells trees,” the post read. “So be mindful when shopping for gardening supplies.”
Firefighters originally said an employee was bitten, but later made a correction, saying that a customer was bitten. The customer, who was not identified by authorities, was taken to a hospital.
WCNC reported Tuesday that a 45-year-old father and construction worker was bitten by the snake while reaching into a row of bushes at the store and is recovering in the intensive care unit.
According to the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, North Carolina has more venomous snake bites than any other state, mostly because people try to kill snakes or pick them up. Copperheads are responsible for the most bites in recent years, according to the extension. The bites are typically not fatal to humans but are extremely painful and may cause extensive scarring.