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Watch: Tiny Manitoba town draws 70K yearly — in snakes
Thousands of tourists come out to a small town in Manitoba every year to witness garter snakes emerge from hibernation. But while the human crowds can be large, they pale in comparison to the roughly 70,000 red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) which emerge from their underground hibernation dens in huge, writhing masses. These snakes call the area around the town of Narcisse home partly due to underground limestone caverns that give the reptiles a warm place to weather the harsh prairie winter 65 miles north of Winnipeg — already one of North America’s coldest major cities. After such a cold winter, the snakes emerge, seeking bodily warmth. They try to mate as soon as they can upon waking up.