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Man Who Tried To Take Photo With An Angry Rattlesnake Might Lose His Hand

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Everyone makes mistakes, but one man's decision to attempt to take a photo with a rattlesnake may cost him his hand, according to his scolding mother.

Alex Gomez, a 36-year-old father of three, was working with his nephew at his family's ranch on Cielito Drive in Lake Elsinore on Monday when he spotted the four-foot long rattlesnake in a nearby field, CBS LA reports. Despite the fact that the snake was rattling and “pretty mad,” according to Gomez's nephew, Gomez decided to pick it up and put the snake around his neck for a photo. The snake responded by biting him.

A neighbor called 9-1-1 and Gomez was rushed to the hospital. His mother, Deborah, told CBS that the skin on Gomez's hand "is already rotting away," and that he might lose it. His mother also has decided to share Gomez's injury with reporters to teach her son a lesson.

"I told him the news people had been calling, and he said, 'Mom, you better not,' and I said, 'I'm going to.' I'm going to teach him a real good lesson when he gets home. No mercy for him."

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California Poison Control said they handle about 800 rattlesnake bites a year, resulting in one or two fatalities. About a quarter of those 800 bites are "dry," which means no venom was injected, but the victim will still need to see a doctor. Most bites occur between April and October, so, if you hear rattling, stay away. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has some tips to protect yourself from rattlesnakes here.