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.
- 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)