A Southern California man realized almost immediately that he had made the wrong decision when he tried to use barbecue tongs to move a rattlesnake from his neighbor's yard.
The man suffered a painful bite on his left hand, but he's recovering after what he described as an idiotic move.
The man, who asked to be identified only as Steve, spotted the snake Saturday evening near his home in the Sycamore Creek community of Corona and was worried about it coming into contact with children. Steve said he wanted to at least get an idea of the size of the snake, but quickly knew he'd made the wrong decision.
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"I had a pair of barbecue tongs that were about 14 inches long," Steve said. "Maybe I can get an eye on it, see how big it is, just assess the situation.
"When I reached the tongs in to move the bushes, [it] struck and got me. The first thought in my head was, 'idiot,' because I know better."
Steve said he was part of a team that cleared rattlesnakes in the military, so he's comfortable wrangling the venomous reptiles. He received doses of antivenin, which he said kept him from getting severely ill.
"Extremely painful. Morphine did not help one bit."
Rattlesnake bites are painful and in rare cases can be fatal. Here are some tips from wildlife experts about what to do if you find one in your neighborhood.