Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo has announced the birth of 13 rattlesnakes that are an endangered species in Illinois.
Officials say the litter of eastern massasauga rattlesnakes is the first bred at the zoo. They say the adult rattlesnakes were recommended to breed as a part of a survival plan for the species. The 13 babies join eight other snakes of the same species at the zoo.
The zoo worked with several agencies to locate the rare snakes in the Chicago area and brought them to the zoo for protection. The rattlesnakes aren't on display.
Zoo curator Diane Mulkerin said Tuesday the baby snakes are the size of a quarter when coiled. She's enthusiastic about the positive affect they will have on the endangered species.