A rattlesnake kept by a Limestone County man inside his home bit his owner late Monday night, sending the 53-year-old man to the hospital where he was recovering Tuesday night in the intensive care unit.

“He was milking the rattlesnake and putting it back in the cage when it bit him,” said Limestone County Sheriff’s Investigator Stanley McNatt. “We sent a deputy to the scene and he made out a report. The man was taken to Athens-Limestone Hospital by ambulance.”

Steve Morris, of 25682 Putman Circle, Athens, was listed in stable condition at Athens-Limestone Hospital. Athens-Limestone Ambulance Service Director Mike West said Morris was in the hospital’s intensive care unit. West said when anti-venom is administered it is hospital policy that the patient receiving it be admitted to the intensive care unit.

“Mr. Morris told us that he has been handling snakes since he was 8 years old and this was not the first time he has been bitten,” McNatt said. “It’s my understanding that he had other snakes inside his house, but we didn’t go in to find out.”

The incident occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. Putman Circle is located off Mooresville Road in the northeastern section of Limestone County.

Deputy Jonathan Yerdon answered the call to the Morris home. McNatt said Morris told Yerdon that the last two to three times he was bitten by one of his poisonous snakes the anti-venom administered at the hospital did not help.

“Something must have helped or he wouldn’t be here,” McNatt said.

The county is continuing to investigate the incident. McNatt said he was not sure where the snake bit Morris or just how large it was.

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