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RIO DE JANEIRO (Web Desk) – Vipers are usually the ones who do the biting, but a one-year-old boy from Brazil gave the venomous snake a taste of its own medicine, biting it on the head and killing it.


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17-month-old Lorenzo was playing with the family dog in the garden of his home, in the town of Mostardas, Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state, when he apparently came face to face with a pit viper, the Oddity Central reported.

Pic shows:  Jaine Ferreira Figueira, 19, mother with the kid Lorenzo.nnA baby in Brazil may have proven that human beings have an instinctive reaction to snakes after he was approached by a deadly viper, and responded by biting it to death.nnScientists have for years debated that Ophidiophobia, which is the fear of snakes and which is the most common of all phobias, may actually be something that is instinctive and vital for the survival of humankind in allowing a potentially deadly threat to be reactive to immediately.nnAnd the case of the 17-month-old boy appears to prove this was the case when instead of trying to grab the snake and to play with it, as he had done previously with kittens, he had instead bitten it on the back of the head, immobilising it and preventing it from biting him back.nnThe child Lorenzo had been playing in the garden and had bitten the snake so hard that he ended up with snakes blood on him, which terrified his mother when he walked into the house with the dead reptile still between his teeth to show her what he "caught".nnJaine Ferreira Figueira, 19, said: "I notice that it was all very quiet from the garden and went out to see if anything could happen.nn"He wasn't there but when I came back I realised he was already in the room, and he had the snake in his mouth."nnShe said that she had called her husband Lucier de Souza, 22, and together they had rushed him to the Sao Luiz hospital some 175 km from Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state.nnThey also managed to retrieve the snake and put it in a bottle and took it with them where it was identified by experts as a potentially deadly jararaca, or pit viper, which inhabits Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Without medical help the snake¿s bite can be fatal and symptoms include hemorrhage, shock and kidney failure.nnDoctor Gilmar Carteri said: "He bit the young jararaca close to its head, which immobilized it and prevented it from biting him.nnThe family said they had initially thought maybe the dog had killed it but the doctor rejected this.nnHe said: "The boy was very shaken up ¿ I think it was a self-defense instinct that kicked in."nnAbout a third of adult humans are ophidiophobic, making this the most common reported phobia.nn(ends)n

His mother Jaine Ferreira Figueira, who was doing some work inside the house, heard some noises and turned around to go check on the boy, only to see him in the room with a snake in his mouth and blood on his clothes.

She instinctively shouted for her husband Lucier. They quickly got in their car and took Lorenzo to the Sao Luiz hospital, some 175 km from Porto Alegre, but not before putting the snake in a jar, so doctors could identify it and administer the right anti-venom.

Only, it turned out there wasn’t much need for medical attention. Doctors checked his body for any snake bite marks, but couldn’t find any, and tests confirmed there was no venom in his system. The only one hurt in the encounter was the poor pit viper.

Pic shows: Lorenzo.nnA baby in Brazil may have proven that human beings have an instinctive reaction to snakes after he was approached by a deadly viper, and responded by biting it to death.nnScientists have for years debated that Ophidiophobia, which is the fear of snakes and which is the most common of all phobias, may actually be something that is instinctive and vital for the survival of humankind in allowing a potentially deadly threat to be reactive to immediately.nnAnd the case of the 17-month-old boy appears to prove this was the case when instead of trying to grab the snake and to play with it, as he had done previously with kittens, he had instead bitten it on the back of the head, immobilising it and preventing it from biting him back.nnThe child Lorenzo had been playing in the garden and had bitten the snake so hard that he ended up with snakes blood on him, which terrified his mother when he walked into the house with the dead reptile still between his teeth to show her what he "caught".nnJaine Ferreira Figueira, 19, said: "I notice that it was all very quiet from the garden and went out to see if anything could happen.nn"He wasn't there but when I came back I realised he was already in the room, and he had the snake in his mouth."nnShe said that she had called her husband Lucier de Souza, 22, and together they had rushed him to the Sao Luiz hospital some 175 km from Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state.nnThey also managed to retrieve the snake and put it in a bottle and took it with them where it was identified by experts as a potentially deadly jararaca, or pit viper, which inhabits Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Without medical help the snake¿s bite can be fatal and symptoms include hemorrhage, shock and kidney failure.nnDoctor Gilmar Carteri said: "He bit the young jararaca close to its head, which immobilized it and prevented it from biting him.nnThe family said they had initially thought maybe the dog had killed it but the doctor rejected this.nnHe said: "The boy was very shaken up ¿ I think it was a self-defense instinct that kicked in."nnAbout a third of adult humans are ophidiophobic, making this the most common reported phobia.nn(ends)n

“He bit the pit viper very close to the head which eventually immobilised the snake and prevented it from biting him.” Dr Gilmar Carteri said.

“The child was very scared, I think it was a self-defense instinct that kicked in or maybe he thought it was a toy.”

The latter seems a bit unlikely, as the snake would have probably bitten him in the process.

Initially, the parents thought that the dog had killed the viper, but after inspecting the snake, doctors confirmed that it had actually been the one-year-old boy.

For years, scientists have debated that ophidiophobia – the fear of snakes – may actually be instinctive and vital to the survival of human kind in allowing a potentially deadly threat to be reactive to immediately. Lorenzo’s reaction, instead of simply freezing at the sight of the snake or trying to play with it, could be considered a confirmation to this theory.

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Pit vipers inhabit various South American countries, like Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and their bite can be fatal without swift medical intervention. Symptoms include hemorrhage and kidney failure.