A man was bitten by the decapitated head of a rattlesnake on his property near Prosser.

Danny Anderson, 53, and his son saw the five-foot snake Monday evening while feeding horses. They pinned it with a pipe and cut off its head with a shovel.

When Anderson reached down to pick it up he said the snake head twisted around and bit his index finger. He said if felt like his hand was in a fire pit.

In the 10 minutes it took to reach Prosser Memorial Hospital the venom spread through his body and his tongue had already started to swell. He was treated with shots at the hospital and at Kadlec Medical Center in Richland.

State Fish and Wildlife Department biologist Mike Livingston said it's possible the snake had the heat-sensing ability to make one last attack or it may have been a reflex.