A Florida teen who bragged about how many times he’d kissed his deadly snake was bitten on the mouth the last time he tried it and rushed to the hospital.
Austin Hatfield, 18, found the venomous cottonmouth, or water moccasin, near his home in Wimauma, Florida, last week and kept it in a pillowcase until it escaped over the weekend.
The serpent slithered across Hatfield’s stomach and off his bed, according to The Tampa Tribune. The bite came when Hatfield tried to recapture it. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Austin Hatfield, 18, found the venomous water moccasin, also known as a cottonmouth, near his Wimauma home last week (pictured is Hatfield with the snake that bit him).
Hatfield’s best friend Jason Belcher told Bay News 9:
We were sitting in the kitchen and he ran out of the room saying hospital, hospital. Now, now.
Yet, leading up to the attack, Belcher said that Hatfield wasn’t at all concerned. He said:
Alright he’s kissed it 12 times. The 13 wasn’t a lucky one. He kisses it right on the head. Right on the mouth. He’s not afraid of death.
2. Austin Hatfield from Florida playing with his vipers.
The teen was rushed to a Tampa hospital in critical condition. Cottonmouth bites are known to cause extreme swelling and can lead to death.
Luckily for Hatfield, antidote for cottonmouths does exist and he survived.
Gary Morse, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, explained that the worst has come and gone for Hatfield. He said:
His condition has improved today and he is expected to recover.
3. Austin Hatfield in hospital after the incident.
4. The 18-year-old Florida man is apparently a fan of snakes, as evidenced by other photos he posted on Facebook.
Morse said that Hatfield was keeping the snake illegally. A permit is required in order to lawfully keep a venomous pet in Florida.
The snake was captured and euthanized, in order to be properly identified.
Morse asked other snake owners not to make the same mistake as Hatfield. He said:
It really doesn’t want to eat you, but it will protect itself. Cottonmouths have a reputation of being somewhat skittish when you get near them and they will readily defend themselves.
5. A teen is bitten in the face by a venomous water moccasin — an ABC News report.
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