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

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