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Ariz. Man Learns Hard Way That Snakes Are Not Toys

The predictable end to a ridiculous party trick
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2017 7:15 AM CDT
World's Worst Party Trick: Guy Playing With Rattlesnake
This 2009 file photo shows a rattlesnake, which is not a very good party favor for your kid's birthday.   (David Mikesic/Navajo Naiton Zoo via AP)

(Newser) – An Arizona man claims he's finally learned his lesson about messing around with snakes after getting bitten for the second time in his life. Victor Pratt, 48, was holding a birthday party for his kid at home in Coolidge, Ariz., on Sept. 7 when he picked up a rattlesnake and began playing with it, Fox 10 reports. "When the kids saw it, I grabbed it," Pratt says. "I showed them how to catch it and I was playing with it like little kids do." After posing for several photos, Pratt lost his grip on the snake's head and the reptile bit him on the neck and face. The snakebite veteran had the presence of mind to ask friends to rush him to the hospital. "I said, 'We gotta go now,' because I knew what was going to happen," said Pratt. He was intubated and sedated for five days.

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Had Pratt not gotten to the hospital when he did, he could have been dead within 30 minutes, doctors say. "Ain't gonna play with snakes no more," he says. Pratt claims he doesn't remember anything from his time under sedation, not even when he was moved from Coolidge to a bigger facility in Phoenix, USA Today reports. Doctors say that kind of memory loss is common in people being treated for venomous snakebites, as the drugs used to keep victims sedated, and therefore unable to pull the breathing tube out of their tracheas, prevent the brain from forming memories. (Read more snake bite stories.)

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