The pinch that Jacqueline L. Lee felt when she reached for the coffee table at her boyfriend's Annapolis house Wednesday turned out to be an 18-inch, black, venomous snake sinking its fangs into her left thumb.
The bite left 21-year-old Lee in serious condition at Anne Arundel Medical Center and her boyfriend, Devin D. Conley, 29, apologizing to his injured girlfriend.
"He's been trying to take care of me the whole time," Lee said from her hospital room last night.
After the hospital gave her anti-venom, the Annapolis woman's condition improved, but Lee said her left arm is still "mutated-looking and completely swollen." Her left thumb is encased in a black-and-blue blood blister, she said.
Lee recalled the snake lunging toward her hand with its mouth open just before she felt it clamp down. She said it seemed to be lying in wait, hiding under newspapers strewn about the coffee table. Until it bit her, Lee said, she had no idea her boyfriend owned a snake - let alone that it roamed free in his St. Catherine Drive home.
After the incident, Conley, who could not be reached last night, killed the snake. Its body was turned over to the Baltimore Zoo for identification, said John Surrick, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.