Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said the 31-year-old woman was attending a book club meeting Jan. 19 at another member's home and decided to take Annie, a 12-year-old ball python measuring about 4 feet long, out of its terrarium, The (Madison) Capital Times reported Monday.
"She just wanted to hold her," DeSpain said. "She apparently had prior experience handling snakes and had no reason to believe she was putting herself in danger."
However, the non-venomous snake bit into the woman's right cheek and refused to disengage until the owner was able to remove it.
The snake was returned to its enclosure and the woman's injuries were treated by a doctor.
"It was sort of a happy ending," DeSpain said. "The women ended up with no scars and no lasting emotional trauma."