A mother whose 17-month-old son was playing in their backyard found the boy covered in blood while holding a poisonous snake in his mouth.
Jaine Ferreira, the boy’s mother, told Brazilian media that her son, Lorenzo, was so quiet for a while that she went out to see what he was doing and found him with the snake in his mouth and the animal still struggling to get loose.
He had been at his house in Mostardas, a coastal city in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state, an urban area where snakes are rarely seen, relatives said.
The child was immediately taken to a Mostardas hospital due to fears that he had been bitten by the snake, but doctors could not find any injuries or symptoms of poisoning, concluding that the boy was in good health. Doctors determined Lorenzo had apparently bitten the venomous snake and killed it.
The boy had blood in his mouth and on his hands, and acted as if the snake was one of his toys, refusing to release the animal, Ferreira said, adding that she needed help from her husband to force the child to open his mouth.
The snake has been identified as a jararaca, an Amazonian viper that is one of the most venomous snakes in the Americas.