LAKE ELSINORE --
A California man could lose his hand after being bitten by a rattlesnake he was holding and taking pictures with, family members said Thursday.
Alex Gomez found the 4-foot long snake behind his home on Monday and decided to pick it up. The 36-year-old could be seen holding the snake and even wrapping it around his neck in photographs provided to KTLA.
At some point after the photos were taken, the rattlesnake attacked Gomez, biting him in the hand.
"I was terrified and I said 'what a fool, stupid, you could die,'" his mother Debra Gomez said.
Alex Gomez was airlifted to Loma Linda Hospital for treatment.
He was out of the hospital Thursday night but still faced the possibility he could lose his hand.