Snake Road closing for Illinois snake migration

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The western rat snake is a common sight on back roads in the Midwest.

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JONESBORO, Ill. (AP) _ Snake Road in southern Illinois is closing to cars so snakes can cross without getting run over.

The Southern Illinoisan reports that the road winding through the Shawnee National Forest will close to vehicles beginning Sunday. The road, more than 2 miles long, will stay closed until late October.

It’s not just snakes. Frogs, turtles, newts and salamanders are also starting to migrate across the road from swamps to limestone bluffs where they’ll spend the winter.

Some are endangered, so the Forest Service goes the extra mile to ensure their safety. People can still walk the road while it’s closed to cars but are prohibited from collecting or handling the species.

The road will be closed again in March as the animals head back to the swamp.

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