Rattlesnake Safety

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Rattlesnake Safety

If you are up north this weekend or at the cottage keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. There have already been 10 people who have been bitten this year by a rattlesnake, up from 9 last year. The Massasauga rattlesnake is easily camouflaged. They range from dark brown to gray with saddle-shaped or butterfly blotches down the back and sides and is about 50 to 70 centimeters long. 

Rattlesnake Facts 

  • The Massasauga rattlesnake and is Ontario’s only venomous snake and will only bite if feel threatened or harassed. 
  • It has a triangle shaped head and creates a buzzing sound when its tail shakes. The eastern fox and eastern milk snake also mimics this buzzing sound when its tail comes into contact with leaves or debris. 
  • Bites usually occur when an individual accidently steps on the snake because it was not seen. 
  • While walking among foliage, wear closed-toe shoes and long pants for the best protection. 
  • This time of year, there is an increase of rattlesnake sightings due to mating season. 
  • Your dog is also at risk for being bitten. 
  • If a rattlesnake has bitten you it is important to receive medical attention immediately, even your dog. 
  • 20 percent of rattlesnake bites are “dry” meaning they do not release any venom (envenomation) 
  • The Massasauga rattlesnake is listed under “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. 

For more information check out: http://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/massasauga-rattlesnake 

You can report any illegal activity related to plant or wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) 

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