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Where Have Rattlesnakes Been Found in Michigan?

DSK60-45.jpg | Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Research
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Rattlesnakes are a rare site in Michigan, but the venomous eastern massasauga rattlesnake continues to be found in Michigan.

The eastern massasauga rattlesnake is the only venomous snake found in Michigan. They average about two feet long as adults and reach a maximum of about 30 inches.

The Michigan DNR says the eastern massasauga rattlesnake is rare, but there are records of them in every county in the Lower Peninsula. In the Upper Peninsula the only place they have been spotted is on Bois Blanc Island in Mackinac County.

The eastern massasauga rattlesnake lives in wetland areas and feeds on small mammals such as mice and voles, frogs, and other snakes. When it’s time to strike they move quickly. The rattlesnake stays motionless before striking and injecting venom.

They are fast, but not a threat if you are not right next to them. The rattlesnake doesn’t move far when they strike. They only move about half of their body length. You are not in danger unless you are very close.

Rattlesnake bites are rare in Michigan, but they do happen. Most bites happen when people handle them, but some are bitten when walking though tall grass near wetlands.

Anyone who has been bitten should seek immediate medical attention.

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