When her daughter Isabella awoke in the middle of the night, Cari Abatemarco probably thought the infant needed a bottle or a diaper change, but the New York woman was instead shocked to find a snake in the 7-month-old's crib, Newsday reported Tuesday.
Abatemarco of Troy, N.Y., says she was visiting family on Long Island, in Brentwood, last week when she discovered the snake coiled around Isabella's leg.
The mother told Newsday that she lifted her daughter out of the crib and the snake fell off. Her uncle then used a back-scratcher to lift the hissing snake and place it in a bucket until animal control officers arrived.
"Once I lifted her up and the snake fell off of her, she stopped crying," Abatemarco said. "But then I was the one crying all night."
The reptile has been identified as a 1-foot-long California king. While non-venomous, it is still a constrictor commonly kept as a pet.
Officials said they don't know where the snake came from, but Abatemarco told the paper that the reptile may have been in a mattress recently bought by her parents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.