If you’re squeamish when it comes to snakes, this may not be your idea of a vacation.
However, every year tourists come to Manitoba, Canada to see thousands of snakes gather and mate.
The Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba, Canada is known as the world’s largest gathering of snakes. Every year, thousands of snakes emerge from their subterranean dens to copulate and bask in the sun.
The area’s plentiful sinkholes are perfect hibernating sites for the red-sided garter snake. After eight months underground, the warmer temperatures of April beckon the snakes to the surface. By mid-May, they reach their peak and spend time mating.
The red-sided garter snakes once numbered almost 70,000, but a severe winter in 1999 caused the death of nearly tens of thousands of snakes. The cold hit before the snakes could reach their winter den locations. Additionally, about 10,000 snakes a year were killed by vehicles during the annual migration across main highways in the area.
Local conservation efforts were successful in helping the numbers begin to increase. Local volunteers built a tunnel under Highway 17 on the migration route enabling the snakes to migrate safely.
Today, the numbers of snakes increase and tourist are encouraged to visit the site in order to bring awareness of the problems faced by the snakes.