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The Alarmed Emails Residents Sent Over the Island for Rattlesnakes

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(Photo: Tigerhawkvok/CC BY-SA 3.0)

A version of this story originally appeared on Muckrock.com.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife drew international attention for a proposal straight out of a Sci-Fi Original Pictures plot – a program that would turn an island off of the Quabbin reservoir into an endangered rattlesnake sanctuary. While praised in the conservation community, some residents, leery of an island full of snakes, took a different tack – or as one concerned citizen put it, “Have you lost all reason?”

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Emails and phone logs regarding the proposal were recently released via a public records request, and while there are a few voicing support …

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Most of them are some variation of “you know not what dark forces you meddle with”

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Or, to put a little more bluntly …

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Several pointed out that snakes can swim, rendering the protection presented by being on an island moot …

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One questioned if this wasn’t part of some sinister federal plot by our reptilian overlords …

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While another accused MassWildlife of being a front for a secret snake cult.

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A particular irate hunter vowed to cut MassWildlife’s funding if this proposal went through and argued that the species extinction would be a net positive for the state …

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Which was echoed by someone who appeared to be a genuine ophiophobe and was genuinely curious why letting them all die out would be a such a bad thing?

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Another just straight-up compared snakes to polio and pointed out we’re not in a rush to bring that back, either.

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One particularly helpful resident provided their family’s surprisingly robust history of snake encounters …

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While another appeared to be slightly confused by the finer points of the proposal …

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Finally, what kind of self-respecting B-movie would this be without somebody accusing scientists of playing God?

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Read the full testimony here.


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