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Afraid of Snakes? Look out for These Poisonous Species in Southeast Minnesota!

Springtime in Minnesota. After another long, seemingly-endless winter it’s time to get outside again and enjoy the beauty this area offers during warmer weather. But, if you’re going to hike around southeast Minnesota, there are a couple of snakes to be aware of.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, there are just two species of snakes in Minnesota, out of 17 total species, that are venomous. And both just happen to be found in the southeastern part of the state.

Timber Rattlesnake

According to the Minnesota DNR, “Timber Rattlesnake specimens have been collected from 8 counties in southeastern Minnesota, but survey efforts in the late 1990s and early 2000s found that populations were substantially reduced.”

This YouTube video purports to be of a Timber Rattlesnake right here in southeast Minnesota, taken in the early evening from a car while driving along a dirt road.

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So, while rare, there is certainly a chance to run across this highly-deadly snake in our area.

Eastern Massasauga

According to the DNR, there have been very few sightings of this venomous snake in Minnesota, and those sightings have only been reported in Wabasha County. The DNR says, “At present, there is no evidence of established breeding populations on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River. However, populations remain extant on the Wisconsin side of the river.”

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While the species is nearly non-existent in Minnesota, as you can see from the video above, created by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, it is quite prevalent in Michigan!

At the end of the day, it’s always a good idea to simply leave snakes alone when you run across them in the wild. Even those that aren’t venomous can still bite, and that’s not a pleasant experience!

Enjoy the great Minnesota outdoors this spring and summer, but be careful of our slithery friends…

For more information on the snakes and lizards of Minnesota, check out this Minnesota DNR webpage.

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