Even if you’re afraid of big snakes like anacondas and boa constrictors, you might be a fan of the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes at the Toledo Zoo! The beautifully patterned Eastern Massasauga is a small pygmy rattlesnake—most grow to only 20 to 30 inches long, and it feeds on small animals like rodents and birds. As you learn more about it, you’ll realize that it’s no threat to you!

Even though Eastern Massasauga rattlers aren’t dangerous to humans, we might be dangerous to them. They used to be widespread around Toledo, but now there are just a few left in some swamps and bogs. People are working to help snakes by passing laws making it illegal to hurt them, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is working to preserve the remaining rattler populations in their state.

You can learn all about how to help animals like rattlesnakes by visiting the Toledo Zoo—or a zoo or nature center nearer to where you live!