In 'Anaconda' Rehearsal, Minaj Dancer Bitten by ... Snake

It has been an eventful run-up to the VMAs

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 24, 2014 10:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – By the time the MTV Video Music Awards roll around tonight, there may not be many people left willing to attend: In the wake of Suge Knight's shooting overnight at a pre-VMAs party comes the news that during a rehearsal Friday for Nicki Minaj hit "Anaconda," a backup dancer was bitten by a snake—a snake that was decidedly not an anaconda. Rather, the reptile in question was a Dumeril’s boa constrictor named Rocky, who MTV reports "has been in the entertainment business for 15 years."

Rocky apparently chomped the dancer's arm as she had him draped around her neck; Minaj appeared concerned and asked "Did she just get bit by the snake?" Boas are non-venomous, and the dancer was treated and then taken to the hospital out of "an abundance of caution," according to a Viacom safety rep. Because tonight's show must go on, MTV says the current plan is to use a different snake in tonight's performance.

This June 29, 2014 file photo shows Nicki Minaj performing at the BET Awards.
This June 29, 2014 file photo shows Nicki Minaj performing at the BET Awards.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
This July 4, 2014 file photo shows Nicki Minaj performing during an Independence Day concert in Philadelphia.
This July 4, 2014 file photo shows Nicki Minaj performing during an Independence Day concert in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Nicki Minaj performs at the BET Awards at the Nokia Theatre on Sunday, June 29, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Nicki Minaj performs at the BET Awards at the Nokia Theatre on Sunday, June 29, 2014, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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