In a bizarre bid for TV ratings, the Discovery Channel has announced an upcoming special Eaten Alive, in which a wildlife filmmaker in a "snake-proof" suit will supposedly crawl inside a live anaconda. Uh...does the anaconda get a say in this?
Photo from Discovery Channel.
Paul Rosolie has agreed to dive into a snake's maw for the sake of television glory. That's all well and good, but will this stunt of his harm the snake? The very concept reeks of animal exploitation; after all, there are less invasive ways to look inside an anaconda's digestive tract. There's very little info on the Discovery website about the particulars (some folks initially hoped this was a hoax, but some promotional information does appear on the channel's website), although a teaser for the special suggests that it has already been filmed.
Rosolie has already received criticism for the stunt from folks who believe that this is an act of animal cruelty, causing physical and emotional distress to the snake for no good reason. Rosolie has responded with the following tweet:
We've reached out to a handful of herpetologists to find out what effect this stunt could have on an anaconda, and we will update this post when we hear back. In the mean time, enjoy these tweets from science writer Jason Bittel on the matter:
I would tell you when this is on, but you don't really need to watch it.