An 18-year-old in Florida is in the hospital suffering from multiple bites to the face from a water moccasin. He was in critical condition but also faced major fines.
Austin Hatfield looks, judging from his Facebook page, to be really into snakes. But that love for reptiles had a consequence. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital to treat injuries caused by a four-foot water moccasin he had caught on a trail by his house.
He kept the water moccasin as a pet and felt it necessary to kiss it on occasion. He kept track of how many times he got his face close to the snake, and had reached 12 before the snake bit him. According to his friend who witnessed the attack, Hatfield went to kiss the snake, that was kept in a pillow case, before “he ran out of the room saying hospital, hospital. Now, now.”
As the law stands, it is illegal to keep a wild moccasin without a permit. Hatfield faced misdemeanor charges and possibly up to 60 days in jail. A spokesperson from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reminded everyone:
“Just like any animal in Florida, if they pose a danger to people, we recommend you stay a safe distance.”