David Senk was arrested Thursday after police, responding to a report of an assault, found him lying on the ground with blood on his face.
A man and woman near the scene told officers they let Senk hold their pet python, and he took two large bites out of the animal.
In a jailhouse interview with KXTL-TV on Friday, Senk said he does not remember the incident because he had been drinking.
"I did what?" Senk said. "If you find the owner, tell him I'm real sorry. ... I'm willing to help pay for medical expenses."
The 3-foot python, which was badly injured, underwent surgery and was expected to be OK.
Senk faces a felony charge of animal cruelty. He admitted he has been an alcoholic for some time.