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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

'Eaten alive' of Discovery channel - Rosolie was to be eaten by Anaconda !!

Anacondas are imposing creatures, easily being the heaviest snake in the world. They can reach around 550lbs (227kgs), which is well over twice the average human weight.  They captured the attention of global audience more after the film ‘Anaconda’  adventure-horror film, directed by Luis Llosa, starring Jennifer Lopez released in 1997.  The film centered  on a film crew for National Geographic who have been taken hostage by a snake hunter who is going after the world's largest giant anaconda, which is discovered in the Amazon Rainforest.

Anacondas  are not venomous, but are still extremely effective hunters. They hunt their prey - usually wild pigs, tapirs, caimans and fish, but sometimes even jaguars - using sight and heat sensors.   Their backward-facing teeth makes it difficult for creatures they hunt to escape. They strike in the blink of an eye and once an animal is in its grip it will coil around it until it's suffocated or crushed to death.  Discovery Channel had been pushing a special called ‘Eaten Alive’ which featured  27-year-old naturalist Paul Rosolie, who wore a “snake proof suit” and planned to live through getting swallowed by a 20-foot-long anaconda.   Eaten Alive is a nature documentary special which aired on Discovery Channel on December 7, 2014. The special focused on an expedition by wildlife author and conservationist Paul Rosolie to locate a green anaconda named "Chumana", which he believed to be the world's longest, in a remote location of the Amazon rainforest . The special was also purportedly to feature Rosolie being "eaten" by an anaconda, protected by a suit designed specifically for this purpose.

Though Rosolie stated that the special was intended to draw attention to wildlife conservation and the destruction of the Amazon, the special was condemned prior to its premiere by critics and the animal rights group PETA as an inhumane publicity stunt oriented towards shock value, resulting in calls for Discovery Channel to pull the special. Discovery went through great lengths to design a suit that would protect the man against the snake’s fangs, compression, and stomach acid, they appeared to overlook one tiny detail: Rosolie didn’t look at all like something a giant anaconda might want to eat. Indeed, when the crew finally found the chosen snake, it really wasn’t interested in trying to eat a human dressed up like the Tinman.

In fact, when Rosolie first made contact with the snake, it was afraid and tried to escape. What to do when you’ve hyped up a show this much and the star isn’t interested? Rather than making the decision to call the whole thing off, Rosolie decided to provoke the animal instead. Only then did the snake attack, biting and squeezing the armoured intruder. However, it appears that Rosolie wasn’t quite prepared for the reality of being constricted by an anaconda, and called in the crew to rescue him. The only way for Rosolie to have gotten out of the snake’s stomach would have been for the crew to kill the snake and cut him out.

The American naturalist who filmed himself getting eaten by an anaconda for a highly-anticipated television event spoke out about what inspired him to take part in the risky stunt.  Rosolie donned a special suit to let a 25-foot 400-pound snake eat him in a dangerous performance set to air on Discovery Channel.  From there, Rosolie put on a special suit made of carbon fiber designed to protect against both the snake's deadly grip and digestive acids. The suit also packed a three-hour supply of oxygen, communication devices and several cameras. Before going through with the effort, Rosolie also swallowed a pill that transmitted his vitals to his team.

Overall, it was stated that Rosolie was so confident in the suit's design that he was more worried about the snake's safety than his own.  Rosolie, a New Jersey native who first visited the Amazon at age 18, spent 60 days hiking through the rain forest in Peru with a team of about a dozen people searching for the right anaconda to take part in the stunt. In the process, the team also started the first scientific study of anacondas in the wild, taking down the weight, length and sex of each snake they came across. They also took samples of their skin to test for mercury, a by-product of the gold-mining industry which is encroaching on the creature's habitat.  They  finally tracked down a female green anaconda that Rosolie first spotted in 2008.  He says it took 12 people fighting in water above their heads to catch the 25-foot 400-500 pound anaconda, adding that herpetologists were on site to make sure the snake was in good health throughout its short captivity.  In order to attract the snakes's attention, Rosolie doused himself in pigs blood and imitated movements of the anaconda's typical prey.

Some people think the constriction of an anaconda serves to break bones or soften an animal for eating; the real purpose is to suffocate the animal by restricting its breath – eventually, it came a cropper, for the anaconda was not interested in eating a human ! ~ and perhaps the human being too was not quite prepared for the reality.  It wasn’t scientific in nature at all, and didn’t seek to benefit anyone except Discovery’s bottom line and Rosolie’s reputation.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th Feb 2015.

News courtesy : National Geographic; NYpost and Daily Mail. Though pictures are available – do not deem it fit to post nauseating photos !

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