The unidentified 24-year-old Hollywood, Fla., resident was driving Tuesday with a friend on Interstate 75 in Broward County, and pulled over when they saw a turtle crossing the highway. The man left the vehicle, lifted the turtle and carried it to a grassy area across the road, the South Florida Sun sentinel reported.
"When he reached down to put the turtle in the grass, that's when the snake bit him," said Capt Jeff Fobb of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Response Team.
The man and his friend drove to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he was treated with anti-venom injections to his swollen left hand. After describing the snake, it was identified as an eastern diamondback, the newspaper said.
Although the snake was only six to eight inches in length, it was capable of delivering a lethal amount of toxic venom, Fobb said, adding the victim was in good condition and good spirits in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit Tuesday evening.