An Arizona man who picked up a rattlesnake and tried to barbecue it during a family birthday party ended up being the serpent's main course.
Victor Pratt, 48, was showing off, he said, when he picked up the rattler and pried its mouth open. The snake then bit him, twice.
“I wasn’t thinking,” Pratt told local reporters at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix, where he has been hospitalized for the past two weeks.
“Instead of being a father, I was being a buddy,” he said.
He was bitten in the face and the neck, and required 26 vials of anti-venom, physicians said.
“I know to cook them and cut the heads off and stuff,” Pratt said. “They taste like chicken. It’s not bad.”
Pratt had been posing for photos while holding the deadly serpent. His grasp slipped at one point, and the snake attacked him, he said.
“I’ve been catching rattlesnakes since I was about 8 years old,” he said. “We had nothing else to do back in the day.”
Pratt had his son rush him to a hospital near his Coolidge home. He was later airlifted to Phoenix.
Doctors said the greatest threat Pratt faced was his throat swelling shut.
“The progression of swelling is very rapid and these patients will commonly have an obstructed airway and be unable to breathe in just a few minutes,” said Dr. Steven Curry of the center’s medical toxicology department.
Pratt said he is not picking up anymore snakes. “You have to be smart,” he said.