The moment a daredevil was ‘eaten alive’ by a snake for TV stunt – and then got chewed up by the critics for getting his safety team to save him after only his head was consumed Paul Rosolie tracked down a 20ft-long green anaconda in South America The 27-year-old then donned black armored suit slathered in pig’s blood As cameras rolled, he crawled on all fours toward snake, which pounced Animal coiled itself around his body, while clamping its jaws on his head As Mr Rosolie felt his arm ‘start to break’, he asked team to rescue him Only part of his head was inside snake when friends wrestled it off him On Sunday night, social media users were criticizing long-awaited stunt One wrote: ‘Complete waste of my time, you didn’t even get eaten alive’ Airing followed protests from conservationists on both sides of Atlantic Mr Rosolie claims he did stunt to raise money to save snake’s habitat.
An American naturalist filmed himself being ‘eaten alive’ by a snake for a TV stunt – but is now facing ridicule for getting his safety team to save him after just part of his head was consumed.
In footage aired on the Discovery Channel on Sunday night – it airs on UK TV on Friday – 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 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.
However, as 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.
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.
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.’
Meanwhile, 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’.
In response to the complaints, Mr Rosolie has claimed that he carried out the risky move in a bid to raise money to save the snake’s habitat in South America – and that the animal was not harmed.
‘I wanted to do something to grab people’s attention to the plight of the disappearing rainforests, something completely crazy,’ he said earlier this month. ‘Everything else has been tried.’
During the documentary, aired at 9pm in the US, Mr Rosolie also explained how he had tracked down that particular snake after surviving being seized and dragged into deep water by it in 2008.
Since the incident, he had been ‘obsessed’ with capturing the beast, he said.
foliage of the Peruvian Amazon – an animal they knew would be big enough to swallow Mr Rosolie whole.
‘An anaconda can stretch to three times its own girth, so a 20ft snake would easily encompass my shoulders,’ said the naturalist, adding: ‘If this snake’s hungry, she might actually eat me’.
In the documentary, Mr Rosolie, who described the snake’s power as akin to ‘a team of horses’, was filmed suiting up before crawling ‘on all fours’, pretending to be a wild boar, toward the snake.
On all fours: In the documentary, Mr Rosolie, who described the snake’s power as akin to ‘a team of horses’, was filmed suiting up before crawling ‘on all fours’, pretending to be a wild boar, toward the snake
In order to avoid being crushed, he was forced to wear a lightweight, strong carbon-fibre suit that fit his frame closely. It was created by a team of engineers using 3D technology.
The suit was also streamlined so he would be less likely to damage the snake’s insides, and – crucially for Mr Rosolie – so its material would resist the anaconda’s digestive fluids.