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S.C. rattlesnake bite victim picked up snake, snake didn't fall from tree, cousin says

Canebrake (Timber) Rattlesnake [Credit: Jake Scott]

Family of a South Carolina man bitten three times by a rattlesnake while kayaking on the Edisto River in Colleton County says the original story of how the man was bitten isn't accurate.

Michael Adams, 28, of Anderson is reportedly in good condition at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston after being bitten by a rattlesnake Saturday, hospital spokesman Tony Ciuffo says.

Colleton County Fire-Rescue originally reported Adams was bitten by the snake when it fell from a tree into his kayak, but a cousin clarified the circumstances of the bites in an interview Tuesday.

The cousin, Kyle Colquitt, says Adams paddled over to what he thought was an alligator in the water. When Adams realized it was a snake, Colquitt says Adams reached down and picked up the snake, not knowing it was venomous.

The snake, described as a "baby," bit Adams three times on one of his hands after being handled. Colquitt says Adams remained calm as the group of kayakers paddled to a nearby house on the river to call for EMS.

A fellow kayaker had a snake bite kit, and applied it to Adams' wounds, Colquitt says.

Adams, meanwhile, kept possession of the rattlesnake throughout the ordeal so doctors would be able to identify it and provide him with the proper antivenin treatment.

Adams declined to speak with ABC News 4 about the incident.

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