A lot of people keep snakes as household companions, and who are the rest of us pet-owners to judge? Cats scratch up furniture and won't leave you alone for five seconds. Dogs drool all over everything, and you have to walk them. Fish are boring and don't even know you exist. Perhaps a snake would make the perfect low-maintenance nonhuman member of your family?
But you might love your serpentine buddy more than it loves you. Can snakes even feel love? We're not philosophers, man. We're just going to point to the case of 18-year-old Austin Lane Hatfield from Wimauma, Florida, who caught a water moccasin (aka a cottonmouth) that subsequently bit him right in the f--king lips. You can see the grisly injury in the video below:
Hatfield kept the snake in his pillowcase, but it escaped around midnight on Saturday, "slithered across [his] stomach" and sunk its fangs into the teenager's face, reports the Tampa Tribune. Hatfield got rushed to the ER with dangerous swelling, but is now recovering in good condition.
To add insult to (literal) injury, Hatfield may be charged for catching a venomous snake without a permit. The snake was killed, and wildlife officials are urging others not to repeat this mistake.
“It really doesn’t want to eat you, but it will protect itself,” Gary Morse of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the Tribune. “Cottonmouths have a reputation of being somewhat skittish when you get near them and they will readily defend themselves.”
If you're going to adopt a pet, maybe just try the ASPCA.