People in Orange said they are unsure about a proposal by the state designed to revive the state’s population of endangered snakes, by breeding them on an isolated island in the Quabbin Reservoir.

Dr. Tom French, from the state’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, spoke in Orange Tuesday about the proposal to relocate the timber rattlesnake.

"They’re starting to die out. We need a place to protect snakes, not the people," said French.

The plan calls for breeding rattlesnakes with the help of Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, then putting them on the island in the Quabbin Reservoir. After 10 years, wildlife officials hope the snakes will be able to sustain themselves. Many at the meeting said they were not sold on the idea.

"I’m not scared of snakes, I’ve caught snakes" said Ken Buzzell. "I just think it’s a waste of money." Others are concerned the snakes, which can swim, can find their way to the mainland.

French said for the first decade, the snakes will have radio transmitters and grants will pay for the programs.

(Copyright (c) 2016 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox