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Nature Outing Takes Terrifying Turn

As rattlesnakes go, the Eastern massasauga rattlesnake – Michigan's only venomous snake – is less harmful than most found in the United States.

A girl touring botanical gardens at the University of Michigan Wednesday was bitten by a usually sly Eastern massasauga rattlesnake. (Photo: Michigan DNR)
A girl touring botanical gardens at the University of Michigan Wednesday was bitten by a usually sly Eastern massasauga rattlesnake. (Photo: Michigan DNR)

A nature visit to the botanical gardens at the University of Michigan Wednesday became a terrifying experience for a child, who was bitten by a rattlesnake.

The child was taken to U-M Hospitals for treatment, WXYZ Channel 7 reports. The child was bitten at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, where visitors are warned that gardens provide habitat for the Eastern massasauga rattlesnake.

Seeing an Eastern massasauga rattlesnake, the state’s only venomous snake, is a rare occurrance, according to Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The snakes are described as “shy and sluggish” and avoid humans.

As rattlesnakes go, the massasauga is less harmful than most found in the United States. Though people who are bitten should still receive medical attention, the massasauga is the smallest and has the least toxic venom.

The DNR says the snakes normally live in wetlands and upland woods throughout the Lower Peninsula. In the late spring, they become more active, leaving their winter hibernation sites – crayfish chimneys and other small animal burrows in the swamps and marshlands – for drier upland sites in the search for mice and voles, their favorite foods.
Joseph Borrajo June 19, 2014 at 06:07 PM
Also know as a timber rattlesnake. P3
Resident June 20, 2014 at 08:06 PM
Y

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