Snakes On the Plains

emrattlesnakeThere are many great reasons to live in Chicago–the past 12 months weather not being one of them. Yes we suffer from many of the urban, man-made disasters such as crime, homelessness, and not enough green space.  But natural disasters are rare.

No floods, hurricanes, drought, locust, etc. Even the occasional tornado in the vicinity stays in the towns far west and south of the city itself. As far as animals go we generally have nothing more than pests. Aggressive squirrels, raccoons, possums and the occasional skunk. We did have a coyote wander the city limits but that is a once in a lifetime even.  So imagine my shock and amazement when I read about the rattlesnake roundup. The eastern massasauga rattlesnake, as it turns out, is native to the area.

Now I have had the “pleasure” of being up close and personal with a rattlesnake. I do not mean in a zoo or from a safe distance. I was in Tuscon for business and there was a hiking trail up a small hill immediately nest to my hotel. I took off at dusk to get a little exercise in before dinner. on the way down, I heard it. Yes, it really is a rattle. I turned toward the sound and caught a glimpse of a green and black snake in some bushes about shoulder high. I leaped forward and did not stop running until I was in my room with the door locked.

Well, the ones in Chicago are apparently shy as rattlers go. There native habitats are decreasing and so many save the snake groups are rounding them up in order to breed them in a safer environment until their numbers are sufficient to return them to the wild that is Chicago.

To be honest I do not even want the shy rattlesnakes here. Unless of course they will eat a raccoon or possum or six. Then they can stay in my backyard.

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One Response to Snakes On the Plains

  1. Frank says:

    Yikes..I’ve never seen a rattlesnake in the wild…that was a little too close for comfort.

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