Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources recently released a video segment entitled “60-Second Snakes,” which is an attempt at familiarizing residents with the different species of snakes that can be found in the state.

The first video is extremely important, especially since it pertains to the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, the only venomous species in Michigan. Although these slithering beasts are rare, it is a good idea to have some general knowledge on this particular snake in order to prevent a trip to a nearby Intensive Care Unit or worse.

The Massasauga Rattlesnake has a rattle, of course, but you will probably not want to get close enough to thoroughly inspect this trait. They also have distinguishable head markings that extend into the body.

Here are some Rattlesnake safety tips from Michigan State University:

“If the snake doesn't feel threatened, it will let you pass without revealing its location. If you do get too close without realizing it, a rattlesnake will generally warn you of its presence by rattling its tail while you are still several feet away. If given room, the snake will slither away into nearby brush. Snakebite can be avoided by following basic safety precautions. However, snakebites can and do occur. This is primarily the result of careless behavior, handling of snakes, or provocation. But this can also occur when an unseen snake strikes because it feels cornered or threatened.”

Interestingly, in the majority of snakebite cases, the consumption of alcohol was reported.

Also, do not attempt to kill a Massasauga Rattlesnake – it’s against the law.

For more information about this creature click here.