LANSING, MICH. - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reminding people that if they see a snake to leave it alone. There are 18 different species of snakes across the state, and 17 of them are harmless.
The 18th species, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, is the only venomous species found in Michigan. It is rarely seen and is listed as a threatened species by the U.S Fish. and Wildlife Service. Hannah Schauer the wildlife communications coordinator for the DNR says, "The massasauga rattlesnake tends to be a very shy snake that will avoid humans whenever possible."
Schauer says if the snake doesn't feel threatened when people are around, it will let them pass without revealing its location, she adds, "If you do get too close without realizing it, a rattlesnake will generally warn you of its presence by rattling its tail while you are still several feet away. If given room, the snake will slither away and likely will not be seen again."
Anyone who is bitten should get immediate medical attention. The DNR says handling or harassing snakes is the most common cause for getting bit.
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