Austin Hatfield learned the hard way that water moccasins do not make the best make-out partners:
A Hillsborough County teenager is recovering after he was bitten in the face by a water moccasin, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
According to Tampa Fox 13, The bite happened last Saturday, according to investigators with Florida Fish and Wildlife, two days after Austin Hatfield, 18, captured it in his girlfriend’s yard in Wimauma. One of Hatfield’s friends, Jason Belcher, was there when it happened. Belcher said the snake was initially in a pillow case.
“He took it out, put it on his chest and it was acting funny, and it jumped up and got him,” he said.
The snake lunged at Hatfield, biting him on his mouth. “He ripped it off his face, threw it on the ground and he started swelling up immediately,” Belcher said. “It was pretty frightening. We’ve done a lot of stuff together. This is the one thing that scared me the most.”
Hatfield was in critical condition, but was later upgraded to good condition, a Tampa General Hospital spokesperson said. Family and friends said Hatfield needed several antivenin treatments. “[Doctors] said that they had to ventilate him so he could breathe because of the swelling. And that was the first thing [I thought] — is he going to make it?” said Gina Bailey, the mother of Hatfield’s girlfriend. “I was very worried. I know that these snakes are very, very poisonous.”
Hatfield did not have a permit to possess the venomous reptile, and he captured the Water moccasin illegally, according to FWC spokesperson Officer Baryl Martin. “People without the experience shouldn’t be handling these types of animals.” “Any type of venomous reptile, besides posing a danger to himself, he could pose a danger to other people, injure other people, that’s the whole reason that we have the [permitting]process,” Martin said.
Investigators said the snake was euthanized in order to identify it and treat the bite.
Water moccasins are also knows as “cottonmouths” because of the white coloring inside their jaws. They are typically two to four feet long, heavy-bodied snakes with heads wider than their jaws.
They are pit vipers that have heat-detecting pits between their eyes and nostrils. They can detect temperature differences as small as one degree from their surroundings — which allows them to strike their prey very accurately, according a fact sheet from the National Zoo.
“Poor snake being molested by some dumb hillbilly. My sympathies for the snake.”
I concur Eric..
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!