Why It's Unwise to Play With Water Moccasins
They're not really cuddly
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2015 1:05 PM CDT
From YouTube, before and after.   (doubtmenow 1982)
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(Newser) – "People without the experience shouldn't be handling these types of animals." This revolutionary statement of the obvious on venomous snakes comes to us by way of a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rep in the great state of Florida, where one Austin Hatfield might take that to heart. As MyFox Tampa Bay reports, the 18-year-old captured a water moccasin in his girlfriend's yard last month. A few days later, he had the reptile in a pillowcase on his bed. Says a friend: "He took it out, put it on his chest and it was acting funny, and it jumped up and got him."

Specifically, it bit Hatfield on the mouth. "He ripped it off his face, threw it on the ground and he started swelling up immediately. We've done a lot of stuff together. This is the one thing that scared me the most." Hatfield's face swelled dangerously, but he's recovering. The snake, also known as a cottonmouth, was euthanized so Hatfield's bite could be treated, adds the Tampa Tribune. Further, Florida requires a permit to possess such animals, and Hatfield had no permit.