In Brief

Man 'eaten alive' by anaconda on wildlife show

Stunt intended to 'raise awareness' but has angered animal rights activists while critics have branded it 'nonsense'

Anaconda

An American television presenter has been "eaten alive" by an anaconda in the Amazon rainforest in a much anticipated documentary by the Discovery Channel.

Paul Rosolie, who describes himself as "Indiana Jones with a green twist", said the stunt was intended to raise awareness about plummeting species populations in the rainforest.

The 27-year old wore a specially designed carbon fibre suit to protect him from the force of the constriction as well as the snake's harmful digestive juices.

The suit was fitted with cameras and a voice transmitter, while a cable was attached to his feet in order to pull him out, The Times reports. He was then smeared in pig's blood in order to make him more appealing to the predator.

Rosolie then allowed a 20-ft long, 250lb snake to constrict him for over an hour, with emergency teams on standby. As the snake began to try and swallow him, he asked his team to rescue him as he could feel his arms "ripping out of their sockets".

"The last thing I saw was that mouth come straight at my face and everything went black," he said. "You're gasping for air through this suit and have this snake crushing down on you. My brain was going back and forth between 'This is awesome' and being a little bit freaked out."  

Discovery Channel had been criticised by animal rights campaigners who argued that the suit would be harmful to the snake, but the network insist the snake was not injured during filming.

Television critics were equally unimpressed  with the two-hour long programme, with The Independent's Christopher Hooton calling it "underwhelming" and Variety's Brian Lowry dismissing it as "nonsense" and  "a staged encounter that amounted to more of a snack than a meal."

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