Rattlesnakes can be incredibly aggressive, and it appears that decapitating one won’t stop it from attacking.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, a man in Corpus Christi, Texas was bitten by the severed head of one of the slithering, venomous creatures.
Area station KIII reports that he was out doing yard work when the snake showed up. He used a shovel to separate the reptile’s head from its body then, likely assuming it was dead, reached down to pick it up. It was not, and the decapitated head delivered a significant bite.
The man reportedly lost his vision and began to have seizures. He was rushed to the hospital where he received 26 doses of anti-venom.
Doctors did not initially think he would survive, but his condition has since stabilized.
While rare, such incidents are always in the realm of possibility.
Steven Beaupré, a University of Arkansas professor, explained to Live Science that the biting reflex in venomous snakes is strong and can endure for hours after death.
Gizmodo further notes that it generally takes cold-blooded creatures longer to die than warm-blooded ones, as their slow metabolisms keep their organs functioning for some time.