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Snakes halt woman's plans for animal sanctuary

DEERPARK, N.Y. (AP) -- A Connecticut retiree's plans to open an animal sanctuary in upstate New York have been put on hold because of some slithery neighbors.

The Times Herald Record of Middletown reports that Nancy Gibson of Ridgefield has already built a house, barn and cat shelter on her 80-acre property in the rural Orange County down of Deerpark, 60 miles northwest of New York City.

But other construction plans were halted by state environmental conservation officials who say there's a den of timber rattlesnakes on her property. Timber rattlers are a threatened species in New York state.

Gibson, a retired English teacher, had planned to move in next month along with her cats, dogs, ducks, goats and parrots. She's now awaiting a decision from the state on whether she can continue building on the site.
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Information from: The Times Herald-Record, http://www.th-record.com