Man Killed 4-Foot Rattlesnake. Then, Dead Snake's Severed Head Bit Him

For venomous snakes like cobras and rattlesnakes, biting is one of the reflexes that can be triggered in the brain even hours after the reptile dies.

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Man Killed 4-Foot Rattlesnake. Then, Dead Snake's Severed Head Bit Him

Rattlesnakes are large, venomous snakes found throughout North and South America (Representational Image)


A man from the United States was bitten by the severed head of a rattlesnake he had decapitated minutes earlier. According to reports, the man from Texas required 26 doses of anti-venom after the snakebite. 

On May 27, Jennifer Sutcliffe was working in her garden when she saw a four-foot rattlesnake hiding in the grass. Immediately, she called her husband who decapitated the snake with a shovel, according to Chron.com. A few minutes later, he bent down to pick up the snake and dispose it.

That's when the dead rattlesnake's severed head bit him.

"The head actually turned around and grabbed onto his hand. He had to rip it off," Ms Sutcliffe told Chron.com. Live Science reports that for venomous snakes like cobras and rattlesnakes, biting is one of the reflexes that can be triggered in the brain even hours after the reptile dies.

Because the head was severed from the body, the reptile is believed to have released an extremely large amount of deadly venom into her husband's hand. "Since there is no body, it released all its venom into him," Ms Sutcliffe told KIIITV. The venom took effect fast as the man started having seizures, lost his vision and even experienced internal bleeding. 

Ms Sutcliffe called 911 and her husband was airlifted from his home near Corpus Christi to hospital where he was treated with an anti-venom.

The man is now reportedly in stable condition.

Ms Sutcliffe told Chron.com she chose not to name her husband to the media because she didn't want him to receive any negative attention.

"Some people are saying we deserve it, it's karma," Ms Sutcliffe said. "But we were in our own yard, we weren't messing around in the woods."

Leslie Boyer, an anti-venom doctor at the University of Arizona VIPER Institute, in an interview to Gizmodo warned against cutting up snakes. "It's cruel to the animal and it leaves you with a smaller piece that's venomous to pick up," she said. Instead, she advised backing away and calling an expert to remove it. 

In Uttar Pradesh this February, a farmer made headlines after he reportedly chewed off and spit out a snake's hood "for revenge". The man fell unconscious but was treated by doctors in Hardoi. Upon regaining consciousness, the man said he bit the snake because it bit him first. Some eyewitnesses reported the snake to be a python. 

Days later, a heavily inebriated man from Madhya Pradesh was in the news after it was reported he bit a venomous snake and killed it. The man survived the bizarre encounter.
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