Michael Blann—Getty Images
September 9, 2015 2:21 PM EDT

A 10-foot python bit a female employee at the Bremerton Bug Museum in Washington because the staffer had not been trained to handle the reptile properly, the institution’s owner told Seattle news station King 5 News.

Stella, the Burmese python who is part of the museum’s reptile exhibit, was aroused by the smell of “thawed rodents” when she was taken into a back room to be fed, prompting her to bite the employee’s leg. When the South Kitsap Fire and Rescue responded to the emergency call, the victim was already soaking in a bucket of water, which the owner Randi Jones said would encourage the snake to let go of the limb. Her leg was finally set free after firefighters “grabbed” the python’s head and “slammed it against the edge of the bucket,” Lt. Glenn Pappuleas said.

The staffer was taken to a nearby hospital where she was expected to make a full recovery, while a new lock that only Jones can unlock was put on the python’s cage.

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Write to Olivia B. Waxman at olivia.waxman@time.com.

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