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Endangered Snake Declared World’s Rarest

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Endangered Snake Declared World’s Rarest

A small snake that lives only on a pinprick of an island in the Caribbean has won the title of world’s rarest snake, a dubious honor for the St. Lucia racer. As few as 18 of its kind remain on Earth, making it one of the planet’s rarest animals overall.

Described as gentle and easy to handle, the remaining snakes live on a half-mile-square island just offshore of St. Lucia, one of the Lesser Antilles, a chain of small volcanic islands that stretches from Puerto Rico to South America, dividing the Caribbean from the Atlantic Ocean.

The mottled brown snakes, once abundant on St. Lucia, were decimated by the arrival of mongooses — fierce reptile hunters — in the late 19th century.

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