A man in the US was bitten on his tongue by a rattlesnake he was trying to kiss, media reports said today. Ron Reinold was airlifted to a hospital in Florida’s Putnam County in a critical condition after the incident happened on Tuesday.

His neighbours said that he was trying to kiss the rattlesnake when it bit him on the tongue, Action News Jax reported. Mr Reinold’s family said he was doing much better and expected to survive, the report said.

His neighbour Charles Goff found the snake on Monday night and put it in a tank.A day later Mr Reinold started playing with the snake and made his ill-judged move, the report said.

“The next morning before I got up, they were playing with the snake. One boy said, ‘I’m going to kiss it in the mouth,’ and the snake bit him in the face,” Mr Goff was quoted as saying by the report. Mr Goff said Mr Reinold and another man were being irresponsible by playing with the snake, the report said.

“Ron was just acting silly. I guess he said he could kiss the devil and get away with it, but evidently he didn’t,” Goff said, adding that the neighbours left the snake after it bit. “So the snake is still out there running around somewhere,” he added.

Rattlesnakes, a group of venomous snakes that produce very strong hemotoxic venom, are used for hunting and defence against predators. Rattlesnake bites are often fatal for humans if not treated immediately.