Rattlesnake selfie ends in horror

In the wake of the story of the reasonable lady who wanted to take a selfie with bison comes the story of the sensible gentleman and the rattlesnake.

Getting mashed, gored, trampled, bitten, and clawed by wild animals is no new thing for those who think animals are props and nature a backdrop. Bears, caribou, and alligators have shown man the fallacy of treating national parks like petting zoos for decades, but technology is allowing them to get mauled in new and exciting ways.

San Diego’s ABC affiliate KGTV said Todd Fassler found a rattlesnake in the brush—then he tried to take a selfie with it. To his surprise and consternation, the rattlesnake did what every rattlesnake in the history of the species has done every single time any of them have ever been picked up: It tried to bite the creature who lifted it off the ground.

It succeeded.

Fassler’s tomfoolery depleted the supply of antivenin at two different hospitals and racked up a hospital bill for more than $150,000.

Fassler explained that the reason he picked up the snake was that he had a pet rattlesnake that he let go into the wild after a year, because he thought animal services would appreciate it.

Folks, I’m really trying here.

First, what?

Second, there are no pet rattlesnakes. There are only rattlesnakes you are stupid enough to pet.

Finally, what?

Well, as Fassler himself said in the little snippet of video that accompanies the news story, “Pepsi does a body good. But rattlesnake venom don’t.”

Editor’s note: This story has been edited for clarity. 

Photo via David O/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Curt Hopkins

Curt Hopkins

Curt Hopkins has over two decades of experience as a journalist, editorial strategist, and social media manager. His work has been published by Ars Technica, Reuters, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle. He is the also founding director of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, the first organization devoted to global free speech rights for bloggers