Friday 28 October 2016

Plans to establish a Rattlesnake island off US coast sparks escape fears

Published 22/02/2016 | 13:56

A venomous timber rattlesnake.
A venomous timber rattlesnake.

Proposals to establish a colony of endangered rattlesnakes on a Massachusetts island have triggered concerns for residents who live on the mainland nearby.

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Under the plans, venomous timber rattlesnakes would be released onto Mount Zion, a 1,400 acre island around 65 miles from Boston.

There are only around 200 timber rattlesnakes left in the US state.

Tom French, of the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife said: “People are afraid that we're going to put snakes in a place of public use and that they are going to breed like rabbits and spread over the countryside and kill everybody."

Rattlesnakes, which are timid and only strike when provoked, can swim. People have also expressed concerns that the island is connected to the mainland by two narrow causeways.

Mr French said there are no records of rattlesnake deaths since colonial times.

Press Association

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