Conservationist and filmmaker Paul Rosolie tracked down a giant 20-long-feet anaconda to be consumed. The only question that arises is “Why?”.
And as it turns out, the answer is relatively simple.
“[I thought], I want to do something that’s just going to grab people’s attention,” the hero of the weekÂ explained during a Tuesday morning visit to TODAY.
The problem ofÂ the mass destruction of rainforests in the Amazon first handÂ practically made him to do it as he believesÂ his stunt would shift the spotlight to that ever-shrinking ecosystem.
Whether or not managed to achieveÂ that goal once the “Eaten Alive” Discovery special airs remains to be seen, but RosolieÂ certainly gained some attention for himself already â€” in particular, the attention of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“This blatant publicity stunt sounds far-fetched, but if the description is accurate, the snake was tormented and suffered for the sake of ratings,” PETA said in a statement.
According to the man who’s actually survived passing through the jaws of an anaconda, the snake is just fine. Still, he appreciates PETA’s concern.
“I’m actually the guy who’s down there protecting these animals and protecting the ecosystem, so I know a lot about anacondas and I’d never hurt one,” he said. “But what’s cool about PETA is that 35,000 people in a week came out to support a snake, and usually snakes are the villains. So I actually thought it was really cool that so many people spoke out in support of a snake.”
Viewers will get a chance to see how Rosolie and the snake got along, but the naturalist offered up a taste of the action Tuesday.
“The last thing I remember is seeing the snake’s mouth open straight at my face,” he said. “Everything went black. It was like being caught it a wave. It was just wrapped up; you feel that crush. â€¦ For over an hour I was being constricted.”
The filmmaker and his team foundÂ a huge anacondaÂ weighing 180 kilograms while hiking in the Peruvian rainforest and the feat was streamed on the Discovery Channelâ€™s website.
The footage showed Rosolie being consumed byÂ the anaconda head-first as his colleagues looked on. The manÂ was wearing a carbon fibre suit and poured pigsâ€™ blood over himself before imitating the snakeâ€™s normal prey to attract its attention and get it to eat him.
â€śI didnâ€™t want to stress [the anaconda] out too much,â€ť he said. â€śI wanted to make sure that the suit was smooth and wasnâ€™t going to hurt the snake. I really wasnâ€™t scared. We tested this suit and worked on this with experts so we knew I was going to be safe.â€ť
Meanwhile, people across AmericaÂ after seeing the footage rushed to expess their anger on the social networks.Â
Twitter user Josh Harris, from Boston , wrote: “They should rename #EatenAlive alive to look for snakes for 1.5 hours and then Try to be eaten alive but only get a scratch on my arm.”
Connor McCarthy, from Pennsylvania, tweeted: “I hope Paul is happy despite letting an entire nation down. I can’t believe he can show his face on tv right now. What a wuss #EatenAlive.”
And Stacey Taylor, from Ontario, Canada, said: “#EatenAlive complete waste of my time you didn’t even get eaten alive you cant call a show eaten alive and not get eaten by your anaconda!'”
The footage, which had been plugged on TV and online for months, was aired despite protests from conservationists on both sides of the Atlantic, many of whom deemed the stunt ‘cruel’.