Expert Ekaterina Uvarova said: “Snakes are very sensitive to smell.

“If it was hungry, and the girl smelled of prey like chicks this might provoke the snake to bite her.”

The bite was like a syringe prick, and the venom mild.

But Ms Uvarova is calling for petting zoos to be banned, and believes that the girl may also have been bitten- because of “the excessive attention of people”.

Viktoria, 5, was bitten by a snake in petting zoo Butterflies Park

“An animal that is being touched all the time, which has nowhere to hide and rest, and is in constant stress,” Ms Uvarova said. “It is never good.”

Zoo workers claimed the snake had not attacked anyone before.

The girl’s father Vladimir said: “We called an ambulance and took the child to hospital to be examined”.