Taking a walk through the woods in Michigan should be a nice and peaceful way to spend an afternoon. But can it become deadly? Maybe if you encounter the venomous rattlesnake that calls Michigan home. Meet the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake.

Yes there is a rattlesnake that you can find in parts of the northern Lower Peninsula. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says this about the snake:

Michigan's only venomous snake is a rare sight for most state residents. Historically, they could be found in a variety of wetlands and nearby upland woods throughout the lower peninsula. During the late spring, these snakes move from their winter hibernation sites, such as crayfish chimneys and other small mammal burrows in swamps and marshlands, to hunt on the drier upland sites - likely in search of mice and voles, their favorite food.

What a Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Looks Like

The snake hunters who have passion for replies and want to see them save and protected found an Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake in the woods of Michigan. Here's what it looks like and you can even hear it rattle in this video.

Protecting the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

Michigan's unique rattlesnake is actually protected by federal law. The Detroit Free Press reported in 2016:

The shy, nonaggressive, eastern massasauga rattlesnake has been waiting for needed protection for more than 30 years, said Elise Bennett, a Center for Biological Diversity attorney who works to protect imperiled reptiles and amphibians....

The threatened-species designation allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to specify certain protections, whereas an endangered species listing comes with more blanket restrictions mandated by law, said Scott Hicks, supervisor of the service's East Lansing field office.

But the proposed protections for the massasauga are largely the same as they would be if it were designated as endangered, he said.

What to Do if You Encounter the Snake

The Michigan DNR has tips in case you encounter one of these snakes that are actually said to be shy and non-agressive.

Keep your distance and observe it from a distance.
Use caution.
Remember it deserves a safe living space.
Do not pick it up.
Keep all pets away.

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