A Florida teen is recovering in the hospital after he was bitten by a venomous snake.
Last Saturday, 18-year-old Austin Hatfield was bitten on his lip by a water moccasin, popularly referred to as a cottonmouth snake, in a Wimauma home. His friend, Jason Belcher, told Fox 13 that Hatfield had captured the snake two days prior. The teen took the animal out from a pillowcase and was playing with it when it struck him.
"He ripped it off his face, threw it on the ground and he started swelling up immediately," Belcher told the station. "It was pretty frightening. We've done a lot of stuff together. This is the one thing that scared me the most."
Though initially listed in critical condition, Hatfield is now in good condition. He will have to undergo multiple anti-venom treatments.
"I was very worried," Gina Bailey, the mother of Hatfield's girlfriend, told the station. "I know that these snakes are very, very poisonous."
On a Facebook page listed for Hatfield, multiple photos show the teen handling snakes, including one showing a snake bite.
In a video on his page, Hatfield can be seen kissing a snake on the mouth.
Another photo shows him doing the same to a larger reptile:
Hatfield does not have a permit to possess dangerous reptiles, according to WTSP.
The snake was euthanized, according to WFLA.
Never miss a thing. Sign up for up-to-the-minute breaking news alerts delivered straight to your inbox. Learn more