Texas country music star Kevin Fowler shared online a picture of the rattlesnake he killed in his shed, and startling photos of what happened when his friend was bitten.
The Facebook post prompted many to show their support for him killing the snake, while others were angered by his actions.
"Ran into this little fellow in my shed this week. Third one this month," Fowler wrote with a picture of the dead rattlesnake.
He then addressed people who would be upset over him killing the snake, warning them of the dangers of a rattlesnake bite.
"All of you people who cry about folks killing rattlesnakes have probably never seen what it looks like when you get bit by one," he wrote. "The other two pics are of my buddy Tommy's hand after getting bit last year. He's still going through surgeries and rehab. All of you rattlesnake sympathizers will change your tune when your kid gets bit playing in your backyard."
Fowler's post soon went viral, with more than 274,000 shares and over 144,000 reactions.
His post also received more than 55,000 comments, with posters reacting both positively and negatively to his warning.
"The only good rattlesnake is a dead one," one comment reads.
"You guys misunderstand the Crotalus genus and species as a whole, sorry you guys lack education they play a big role in the ecosystem and the venoms are actually being used for several cures work is being done here, yet you guys blindly kill them without understanding and lack of knowledge," a user wrote.
"Lose cows to these d*** things every year, kill em all," a comment that was shared with a picture of a rattlesnake in a bucket said.
"You are determined to piss people off with this s***. I already deleted all of your music off my phone, which was hard because I am die hard Texas country fan and I have seen you in concert more times than I can count. This is getting absurd. I grew up in the country. S*** happens. Yes venomous snakes can bite. They doesn't mean that we need to be redneck Neanderthals and kill them all. Learn to be a real country boy and coexist," another comment reads.
Numerous other comments include pictures of rattlesnakes people have killed, or items made out of their skin.
Steve Lightfoot of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told the San Antonio Express-News that rattlesnakes are secretive, shy and normally not aggressive.
"You would have to step one one to get it irritated," he said, adding that should you encounter one, it's best to remain still and refrain from making sudden movements. This gives the snake the freedom to leave and not feel threatened, which could prompt it to strike.
“99 times out of 100, they’re going to try to get away,” Lightfoot said. “They’re part of the landscape as well so it’s best to be educated and informed so you can be aware of your surroundings.”