Massachusetts' proposed rattlesnake sanctuary making some people anxious

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Massachusetts' Proposed Rattlesnake Sanctuary Making Some People Anxious

Venomous rattlesnakes and humans have long had a tricky relationship, but a proposed measure in Massachusetts could prevent future harm.

The intended beneficiaries of the potentially life-saving measure are the reptiles, which have, over the years, significantly declined in numbers.

In an effort to help timber rattlesnake populations rebound, the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife would like to establish a sanctuary on a nearby island.

More on the plans and the Reservoir:

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Proposed rattlesnake sanctuary in Quabbin Reservoir
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Massachusetts' proposed rattlesnake sanctuary making some people anxious
FILE-- In this September 2013 handout aerial file photograph from the Mass. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, a dirt and stone road leads to Mount Zion Island, at rear, at the Quabbin Reservoir in Petersham, Massachusetts. A plan by the state to start a colony of venomous timber rattlesnakes on the off-limits island in Massachusettsâ largest drinking water supply is under fire. (Clif Read, The Mass. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation via AP)
FILE-- In this Sept. 2008 handout file photograph from the Mass. Div. of Wildlife and Fisheries, a timber rattlesnake slithers across a flat rock in Western Massachusetts. A plan by the state to start a colony of venomous timber rattlesnakes on an off-limits island in Massachusettsâ largest drinking water supply is under fire. (Bill Byrne/The Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife via AP)
FILE-- In this September 2013 handout file photograph from the Mass. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, a dirt and stone road leads to Mount Zion Island, at rear, at the Quabbin Reservoir in Petersham, Massachusetts. A plan by the state to start a colony of venomous timber rattlesnakes on the off-limits island in Massachusettsâ largest drinking water supply is under fire. (Clif Read/The Mass. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation via AP)
BELCHERTOWN, MA - JANUARY 23: Quabbin Reservoir viewed from Quabbin Park in Belchertown, Mass. on Jan. 23, 2016. The department of fish and wildlife would like to create a self-sufficient population of timber rattlesnakes on one of the reservoirs islands. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FILE-- In this September 2008 handout file photograph from the Mass. Div. of Wildlife and Fisheries, a timber rattlesnake rests in a coil on a rock in Western Massachusetts. A plan by the state to start a colony of venomous timber rattlesnakes on an off-limits island in Massachusettsâ largest drinking water supply is under fire. (Bill Byrne/The Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife via AP)
NEW SALEM, MA - JANUARY 23: Bobby Curley, president of the North Quabbin Trails Association, poses for a portrait with his dog, Celtz, at an overlook of the Quabbin Reservoir in New Salem, Mass. on Jan. 23, 2016. The department of fish and wildlife would like to create a self-sufficient population of timber rattlesnakes on one of the reservoirs islands. Curley believes his collie, Celtz, was bitten by a rattlesnake, but he is not entirely opposed to the plan to bring the snakes back to the area. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WARE, MA - MAY 1: Quabbin Reservoir supplies Boston with high quality drinking water. This view is from the south end. (Photo by Mark Wilson/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
This April 24, 2011 photo shows a biker riding past the Goodnough Dike around the Quabbin Reservoir in Ware, Massachusetts, which is sometimes described as an "accidental wilderness." The park and watershed area surrounding the reservoir offer an unusual mix of engineering, human history and open space. (AP Photo/Beth Harpaz)
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Called Mount Zion and located in the Quabbin Reservoir, the area has for some time been off-limits to people, one of the snake's largest threats.

Many have expressed concerns about the plan and particularly about the possibility of it becoming too successful.

Among the fears is that the rejuvenated species will return to the mainland in Biblical proportions.

Officials ensure that while the snakes can, indeed, swim, they would unlikely survive such a journey for long.

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