May 19 (UPI) — A Florida man was bitten on the tongue when he tried to kiss a rattlesnake, authorities said.
Putnam County resident Ron Reinold was taken to a local hospital in critical condition Tuesday. Reinold’s family said Wednesday he is recovering and expected to survive.
A neighbor said Reinold had been drinking while handling the snake.
The reptile appeared calm until Reinold moved toward it as if to kiss it. That’s when the snake bit him.
“He said, ‘I’m going to kiss it in the mouth,’ and the snake bit him in the face,” said Charles Goff, who said he found the snake. “Ron was just acting silly, you know? I guess he said he could kiss the devil and get away with it, but evidently he didn’t.”
Authorities identified the snake as an eastern diamondback rattlesnake, one of 16 venomous species of rattlesnakes in the United States.
It’s illegal to keep a rattlesnake in Florida without a license.