Parks are generally a safe place to seek recreation. But that does not mean a little bit of safety awareness isn't called for from time to time.

In recent weeks, the Ardmore Parks and Recreation Department was informed of an incident involving a poisonous snakebite. The incident took place in Central Park.

Director Kevin Boatright said the city was told a man was bitten by what is thought to be a copperhead at the park. The victim went to a business across the street where 911 was called.

"We were told he thought he was picking up a strange looking stick and it bit him," Boatright said. "We have never had it happen anywhere and it was very unfortunate. From information we gathered, we found out the man was okay."

Boatright said park staff, animal control and members of the police department went through the area where the snake was last seen, but failed to locate it. While an incident such as a snakebite would seemingly be more likely to occur at Regional Park, Boatright said it is important to be cognizant of the surroundings when visiting a park.

"A lot of parks in our nature areas will have wildlife, and you need to be aware of your surroundings," he said. "As far as wildlife in Regional Park, we have such an abundance, which you would expect in 1,000 acres of wooded area."

Boatright said a creek in Broadlawn Park also presents the possibility of wildlife. Or at least something unusual.

"Our guys have seen some snakes," he said. "Another time, some kids were poking around a hole and found a rat in it. We had an exterminator come out, and he said [the varmint] was so unusual, he sent it to Oklahoma City. It was a cross between a pet rat and a wild rat. It was so huge, he had never seen anything like it.

"The moral of the story is, always be aware of your surroundings. In my 14 years, the gentleman was the first we have had bitten, and hopefully the last."