BOSTON (CBS) — The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife wants to make a Quabbin Reservoir island home to the venomous timber rattlesnake, which is indigenous to the state.

Gov. Charlie Baker is now on board for using the unpopulated island for that purpose. He calls the project “fairly short money” at a few hundred thousand dollars, and said he thinks it’s important to preserve indigenous species.

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“By creating a colony on an island like that, they are far less likely to run into people who are on the trails and working their way around Quabbin reservoir than they would be if we did nothing,” said Baker.

He downplayed safety concerns among locals, some of whom are worried the snakes could get off the island and attack people in the area.

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“If they swim off the island, first of all, it’s a long way from the islands being discussed to get to shoreline anyway,” Baker said. “And secondly, if they do, their likelihood of survival is pretty small.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Don Huff reports

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