Facebook / Austin Hatfield
There’s a good reason that it’s illegal to keep water moccasin snakes as pets in Florida, and people like 19-year-old Austin Hatfield are that reason.
In 2015, Hatfield caught the snake on a trail near his house, and kept the wild animal in a pillowcase. On a video posted to social media, Hatfield repeatedly brings himself face to face with the snake a total of twelve times before the reptile finally strikes. According to a close friend who was there when the attack occurred, Hatfield immediately ran out of the room, stating he needed to go to the hospital.
While Hatfield was recovering from his injuries, he also faced more trouble ahead: possible jail time. He was charged with a misdemeanor for illegally keeping a wild pet. Wild animals can be exciting, sure – but they’re not worth jeopardizing your health or freedom. The Florida Game Commission recommends keeping a safe distance from any animal that could be harmful to your well being.