Boy bites snake: Venomous viper killed - by 17-month-old toddler in Brazil

Picture taken on February 12, 2008 showing a close-up of an extracted drop of venom pending on a serpent mouth classified as "Jararaca" (Bothrops jararaca), at the Butantan Institute, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. © Mauricio Lima
The mother of a 17 month-old boy was shocked and scared when her son ran home with blood in his mouth and on his hands and a dead snake whose venom easily kills. It turned out that the toddler managed to kill the deadly viper with a bite while he was playing in the garden.

The incident took place in the town of Mostardas in Rio Grande do Sul state, southern Brazil on Sunday.

Jaine Ferreira Figueira, 19, told the G1 news she realized her son, Lorenzo, was very quiet playing in the garden with a dog and she “went to see if anything had happened.”

“But he was already in the room, and with the snake in his mouth," she said. When Jaine saw her blood on her son, she shouted for her husband, Lucier de Souza, 22.

Both parents immediately took the boy to the Sao Luiz hospital some 175 km from Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state.

They also managed to retrieve the snake from the toddler’s hands, put it in a bottle and brought it to the hospital for identification.

The snake turned out to be a 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.

Initially the parents thought that the dog had killed the deadly viper, but doctor Gilmar Carteri said that it was probably the boy himself who killed the serpent.

“He bit the young jararaca close to its head, which immobilized it and prevented it from biting him,” Carteri said, “The boy was very shaken up — I think it was a self-defense instinct that kicked in, or he thought it was a toy.”