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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
Why It's Unwise to Play With Water Moccasins
From YouTube, before and after.   (doubtmenow 1982)

(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."

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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. (Read more snakes stories.)

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