A Man Will Be Eaten Alive by an Anaconda on a Discovery Channel Special?

Will a man be eaten alive by a snake on a Discovery Channel special?

Published Nov 6, 2014

On 7 December 2014, the Discovery Channel wet set to air a new special purportedly showing a man being eaten alive by an anaconda. The special, appropriately titled Eaten Alive created quite a stir on social media, its shocking premise leaving many potential viewers scratching their heads:

A petition against the special was also started online:

"The Discovery Channel is now committing animal abuse for creating a show called "Eaten Alive." A grown man in a "special suit" is planning on being eaten alive by a Green Anaconda. This is animal abuse to the highest degree and absolutely disgusting, and could kill the snake - an adult green anaconda cannot fit the width of an adult man's shoulders into it's body. It once again reinforces the negative stereotype of snakes, which one would think would be the opposite of what Discovery should be trying to do. Please sign this petition and boycott the Discovery Channel and get this show taken off the air. I would like everyone to tweet and post to the Human Society so a prominent organization can take action."

While this stunt may have seemed like a cruel hoax, the Discovery Channel, as well as naturalist and wildlife filmmaker Paul Rosolie, insisted that there was nothing fake or cruel about Eaten Alive In a blurb about the show, the Discovery Channel wrote that Rosolie wore a special "snake-proof" suit as he went head-first into the belly of the beast, and Rosalie addressed the concerns about animal cruelty by saying that he would never hurt an animal:

OK, so where does that leave us? The Discovery Channel planned on showing a man getting eaten alive by an anaconda, and Paul Rosolie said that he would "never hurt a living thing." That meant that Rosolie would have to both enter and exit the belly of the beast without hurting the snake. At least one wildlife expert, zoologist Frank Indiviglio, didn't believe that feat to be possible:

When the special finally aired, Paul Rosolie "was forced to call off his controversial anaconda experiment halfway through," disappointing many viewers while relieving others:

In footage aired on the Discovery Channel, 27-year-old Paul Rosolie and his 10-strong team tracked down the 20ft-long, 18st anaconda to the headwaters of the Amazon river.

Donning a black armored suit, slathered in pig's blood, Mr Rosolie then moved tentatively 'on all fours' toward the enormous beast as the cameras rolled and his wife, Gowri, watched.

Seconds later, the female anaconda - one of the world's most fearsome creatures - pounced on its 5ft 9ins victim, latching on to his head, before constricting his arms and body.

Mr Rosolie felt his arm 'start to break' under the snake's grip, he ordered his team of fellow naturalists, doctors and vets to save him with just the top of his head in the animal's jaws.

And get this: that wasn't a snake that Rosolie and his team happened upon during filming. Rosolie admitted that the production actually relied upon a Peruvian green anaconda in captivity to complete the experiment.

Within minutes of the show, named 'Eaten Alive', being broadcast, people across America were taking to social networking sites to express their disappointment at the highly-anticipated footage.

We don't know if Indiviglio was right about this stunt's being "nonsense," but we do know that the Discovery Channel is no stranger to blurring the line between fact and fiction. This is the network, after all, that fooled millions of viewers with fake documentaries about mermaids and sasquatch:

Last updated:   7 December 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as back in 1994.

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