NEW YORK (Reuters) - Animal rights group PETA has slammed the Discovery Channel’s ‘Eaten Alive’ show, which claims it will show a man being eaten alive by an anaconda, as a publicity stunt that will torment the snake.
Trailers of the show, which will be aired on Dec. 7 on the cable network, show naturalist and wildlife filmmaker and author Paul Rosolie donning a custom-built snake-proof outfit.
“I am about to be the first person that is going to be eaten alive by an anaconda,” Rosalie says in the trailer as his team is shown catching a snake. “I don’t expect anyone to believe us until we show it.”
Although PETA said the premise of the show sounds far-fetched, if the description is accurate the snake will be tormented. It added that whether it is a hoax or note, it has asked the network to pull the show.
“Anacondas go days without eating and expend the energy needed to do so selectively. Making this snake use up energy by swallowing this fool and then possibly regurgitating him would have left the poor animal exhausted and deprived of the energy that he or she needs,” PETA said in a statement.
Apart from the trailer, which also shows the search and capturing of an anaconda, the world’s largest snake species in a South American rainforest, the network has not released any information about the show.
No one at the Discovery Channel was available to comment about the show, but a spokesman said the snake is alive and healthy.
Rosolie, whose suit was slathered in pig’s blood to help entice the snake to eat him, and to also make the snake regurgitate afterward, sent a message on Twitter on Nov. 4 saying he would “never hurt a living thing.”
Fully grown Anacondas can grow to more than 29 feet (8.8 meters) in length, weigh over 550 pounds (249 kilograms) and measure more than one foot (30 centimeters) in diameter.
The Discovery Channel is owned by Discovery Communications Inc., along with TLC and Animal Planet.
Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Alan Crosby