updated 7/25/2008 11:33:11 AM ET 2008-07-25T15:33:11

An 11-year old boy is in Brazil's media spotlight after sinking his teeth into the neck of a dog that attacked him.

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Local newspapers reported on Thursday that Gabriel Almeida was playing in his uncle's backyard in the city of Belo Horizonte when a pit bull named Tita lunged at him and bit him in the left arm.

Almeida grabbed the dog by the neck and bit back — biting so hard that he lost a canine tooth.

Almeida tells the O Globo newspaper: "It is better to lose a tooth than one's life."

Stonemasons working nearby chased the dog away before it could attack again.

The Folha de S. Paulo newspaper said the boy received four stitches at a local hospital while the dog was taken to a pound and may be killed.

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