Rare Five-Foot Timber Rattlesnake Spotted On New England Trail: ‘Thought It Escaped From Zoo’

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September 17, 2021 astatine 10:15 am

MILTON, Mass. (CBS Boston) – Sarah Kleinman’s regular Sunday hike successful the Blue Hills surely got her bosom complaint up. “I took a measurement and noticed close nether maine — astir apt a ft distant — was the biggest snake I’d ever seen,” she tells WBZ-TV.

So the caregiver midwife whipped retired her cellphone and recorded the venomous, five-foot timber rattlesnake arsenic it slithered crossed the trail. She was astir fractional a mile from Chickatawbut Hill. “My archetypal thought was that it indispensable person escaped from the Franklin Park Zoo,” she says.

But erstwhile she shared her find with Mass Wildlife officials, she learned what galore folks don’t know. Timber rattlers are autochthonal to each six New England states — but truthful uncommon these days they’re among the astir endangered taxon successful Massachusetts.

Five-foot timber rattlesnake spotted successful Blue Hills Reservation (Image recognition Sarah Kleinman)

In fact, aft a century-and-a-half of decline, determination are lone a fistful of pockets successful the authorities wherever timber rattlers person been capable to survive. And 1 of them is the 7,000-acre Blue Hills Reservation.

A brace of the snakes are adjacent connected show astatine the Blue Hills Trailside Museum — wherever they were rehabbed aft suffering injuries successful the wild. But the breed’s endangered presumption present makes it amerciable to adjacent disturb a timber rattler — overmuch little drawback oregon termination one.

“A batch of radical look to beryllium truly funny successful this actually,” says Kleinman, who has been somewhat stunned by each the attraction her sighting has received. “Mostly radical who were conscionable horrified that I adjacent had this gathering with a snake. So I had a batch of validation for the fearfulness I felt successful the moment.”

It’s not wide known that 2 kinds of venomous snakes unrecorded present successful Massachusetts — the different is the copperhead. While a wound from the rattler Kleinman encountered wouldn’t person been fatal, she’s inactive gladsome she didn’t measurement connected it.

And arsenic much and much radical inquire astir her adventure, she’s been taking an informal poll. “Zero percent of the colonisation likes snakes,” she tells WBZ.

Except for the experts astatine Mass Wildlife, who told her she was among the fortunate fewer successful this region, who ever get to spot a full-grown rattler up close. “I didn’t consciousness precise fortunate astatine first,” she says. “But present aft a fewer days person passed — and due to the fact that it’s specified a unsocial sighting — I tin clasp it a small spot more.”

In the figurative consciousness — of course.

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