A 36-year-old father of three in Lake Elsinore, California could lose his right hand due to a rattlesnake bite he received after he picked the venomous reptile up to take a “selfie.”
“Playing with danger. [When you’re] playing with fire, you get burnt,” Alex Gomez’s neighbor Byron Bonia said in an interview with KCBS-TV.
Gomez had reportedly picked the snake up on Monday while at his family’s ranch with his son.He placed it around his neck for the picture, which is when he was bitten. According to the Associated Press, his neighbor Bonia called 911 and he was transported to an area hospital where he was treated with anti-venom.
His mom, Debra, says the skin on his hand has already begun rotting, however, and he could lose it. Debra says her son is very embarrassed for his actions. “That’s just being a fool,” she told KCBS-TV. Considering the snake could have bitten Gomez’s neck, he is lucky.
California Poison Control handles 800 rattlesnake bites annually, and one to two end up being fatal, KCBS-TV notes. April through October is considered peak rattlesnake season and California’s drought and heat has drawn a greater number of them.