One of the region's last remaining Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes is pregnant after spending several months at the Lincoln Park Zoo, officials there say.
In April, workers from the zoo teamed up with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and environmental groups to scour northeastern Illinois for the snakes, believed to be on the verge of extinction.
The search teams found a pair of Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes and brought them back to the zoo. Zoo officials think these two snakes could quite possibly be the last two remaining of their kind in northeastern Illinois.
A zoo press release says the female snake, Eve, hadn't yet been introduced to the male snake, so researchers suspect she was pregnant when captured.
Search teams will continue their efforts next spring. The zoo hopes to eventually reintroduce the snakes to the wild.
UPDATE: A zoo spokeswoman now says the snake gave birth to 4 babies last week.