It is with great sadness that Wildlife Preservation Canada announces the death of one of our beloved Ojibway Prairie massasaugas. On June 16th, Pretty Peter passed away suddenly at the tender age of two within the Ojibway Prairie Complex and Greater Park Ecosystem. He appears to have died of predation by an unknown animal within his home territory.

Pretty Peter was born by the pond to Three Spot Sally. He was from a large family and was one of ten siblings. With a taste for adventure, he moved away from home at a young age. He was an avid traveler and ended up settling down in an area far away (~700m) from his birthplace. He was a reclusive individual who often kept to himself and didn’t bask at the local brush piles as much as his fellow rattlesnakes. However, when he did venture out he preferred the sheltered, quiet tangles of the raspberry patch.

Pretty Peter’s death is a significant loss within the local rattlesnake society. With so few massasaugas left in the Ojibway Prairie Complex and Greater Park Ecosystem, each and every one of them is crucial to the survival of this population. He will be dearly missed by Wildlife Preservation Canada and the Ojibway Prairie Reptile Recovery team.

Pretty Peter is survived by his brother Ekans and his sister Stripey. Sadly, had he survived longer, Peter would have been a proud uncle this summer as his sister Stripey is due to give birth to a clutch of babies in late August.

A private, closed casket ceremony will be held by Wildlife Preservation Canada on the 27th of June, in Windsor, whereupon his remains will be respectfully shipped to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative for necropsy. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you please send donations to Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Ojibway Prairie Reptile Recovery program so that we may continue to build safe habitats for snakes just like Peter. Donations can be made online, by phone (1-800-956-6608), or by mail (send cheque to: Wildlife Preservation Canada, 5420 Highway 6 North, Guelph, ON, N1H 6J2). We thank you for your thoughts and generosity during this difficult time.