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Massachusetts to Establish Rattlesnake Island

Massachusetts to Establish Rattlesnake Island

If you’re looking to go on a tour of the top places in the world Indiana Jones would hate to visit, you can start your trip on Zion Island in the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts. That’s because Zion Island, an uninhabited and heavily forested island in the middle of the reservoir, will soon be home to tons and tons of Crotalus horridus; a.k.a. venomous timber rattlesnakes.

Why’d it have to be rattlesnakes? Because they’re endangered, of course.

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife wants to establish a timber rattlesnake sanctuary on Zion island because, according to the agency’s assistant director, Thomas W. French, this is the “best-case scenario of protecting the timber rattlesnake from people…” French says that the diminishment of the timber rattlesnake population (which is now nearing the point of extinction) is due to everything from deliberate killing to commercial sales to road fatalities.

Timber-Rattlesnake-Image-03152016

Picture of the timber rattlesnake, a venomous pit viper endemic to the eastern U.S.

By setting aside Zion Island—an island from which people are already prohibited—for the timber rattlesnake population, French says he can grow their numbers without any danger to people who live nearby. It seems that those nearby people have taken a page out of Indy’s book however, and are vehemently protesting the idea, claiming that the snakes could leave the island and swim across the reservoir.

Even if the snakes did swim across the reservoir to shore, however, French says they are tracked by GPS, and would be stopped before they could do any harm. Timber rattlesnakes are also, despite being venomous, usually very docile and shy creatures. Plus, you never know when a snake island could come in handy. Especially if the recently reported fifth installment of Indiana Jones doesn’t meet our expectations…

What do you think about rattlesnake island? Is it a brilliant way to save an endangered species, or simply one of the worst vacation spots of all time? Let us know in the comments section below!

HT: WWLP

Images: Tony Alter // Newport News, Solarapex

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