BOSTWICK, Fla. (WSVN) — A north Florida man had to be airlifted after a rattlesnake bit him on the tongue Tuesday.

Neighbors told Fox 30 that Ron Reingold was attempting to kiss the rattlesnake when it bit and critically injured him.

Charles Goff told the station he found the snake Monday night in Bostwick, about an hour south of Jacksonville. Since he said he knows how to handle snakes, Goff put it in a tank. But he said some of his neighbors tried to play with the reptile, with disastrous results.

“The next morning before I got up, they were playing with the snake,” Goff said. “One boy said, ‘I’m going to kiss it in the mouth,’ and the snake bit him in the face.”

Reingold had to be airlifted to a local hospital, where he was listed in critical condition, according to Putnam County Fire Rescue.

Family members said Reingold is showing signs of improvement and is expected to survive.

“Ron was just acting silly, you know? I guess he said he could kiss the devil and get away with it, but evidently he didn’t,” Goff told Fox 30.

Goff said he believes his neighbors let the snake go after it bit Reingold.

“So the snake is still out here running around somewhere,” he said.

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