Massasauga Rattlesnake Provincial Antivenom Depot

What if I get bitten?

• Don’t panic! Not all bites result in venom being injected. One quarter of all rattlesnake bites are ‘dry’ bites.
Stay calm and reduce movement.
• Clean the wound - wash with soap and water
• Remove jewelry on the affected limb.
• Call emergency services (911) and get to a hospital as quickly and safely as possible.
• DO NOT apply ice or a tourniquet.
• DO NOT cut or apply suction to the bite area.

How can I avoid snakebite?

• Do not pick up snakes or other wild animals. This is the most common cause of snakebites.
• Do not harass, chase or threaten a snake, the second most common cause of snakebites. It is illegal due to the snake’s protected status.
• Stay on the beaten path when walking in rattlesnake habitat and use a flashlight at night.
• Always wear ankle-height, close-toed boots or shoes when hiking.  The Massasauga has relatively small fangs that are not likely to penetrate leather-hiking boots or loose clothing.
• Always watch where you put your hands and feet. Do not reach into areas where you cannot see.
• If you hear a rattlesnake, stop moving and determine the snake’s location. Slowly step away and give the snake room to move away.
• Protect your pets - keep dogs on a leash when walking though rattlesnake habitat.

The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

The federal Species at Risk Act, and the provincial Endangered Species Act have designated the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake as a Threatened species. This designation legally protects the Massasauga from being harassed, captured, killed, bought, or sold. A violation of either Act can result in a maximum fine of $250,000 and/or

imprisonment for up to one year. A violation for commercial purposes increases the penalty to a maximum fine
of $1,000,000.

Canadian Eastern Massasauga Recovery Team

An informative website prepared by the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Recovery Team can be found at
Seeing a Massasauga Rattlesnake in the wild is a unique and very special life experience - Enjoy it safely!