You may never see one, but the eastern massasauga rattlesnakes of Michigan have been given a "threatened species designation". According to the Free Press, Bruce Kingsbury, director of the Environmental Resources Center at Indiana University-Purdue University Ft. Wayne, says they hardly ever bite people, "You can stand right next to them, and they don't move. They are hoping you just don't see them. What we find, even when they are bumped or stepped on, they still don't strike. They are just hoping they will be left alone." Of course, tell that to the people who've run into one unexpectedly.

And while they're rare, eastern massasauga rattlesnakes are probably more prevalent in Michigan than anywhere else in the U.S. According to Kingsbury, "Michigan is what we would call the stronghold of the species, at least in the United States. So now it's illegal to take or kill them. And in the long term, the designation is meant to protect their habitat.

Here's the full story.


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