Was Man Eaten Alive by Anaconda? Not Exactly

Paul Rosolie needs rescue during Discovery Channel show
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2014 6:44 AM CST
Eaten Alive Guy Needs Rescue From Anaconda
An anaconda is shown.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Eaten Alive, the Discovery Channel special that was supposed to feature Paul Rosolie being swallowed whole, then regurgitated, by an anaconda, aired last night ... but Rosolie's encounter with the giant snake didn't exactly go down as planned. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Rosolie spent most of the two-hour special searching for an anaconda he first saw years ago, one he believes to be the biggest on Earth at at least 25 feet. In his first on-camera encounter with the snake, he jumped on its back but had to jump off when he was dragged into the water. After another encounter during which Rosolie grabbed its tail but couldn't hang on, he determined it would be safer to settle for a smaller anaconda. He put on his pig-blood-soaked protective suit, and the snake (a 20-footer that was already in captivity, according to People) coiled around him. Then, just as the snake opened its jaws onto Rosolie's helmet, he called the whole thing off and was rescued.

"I felt her jaws lock onto my helmet," he explained afterward. "I felt her gurgling and wheezing but then I felt her let go. She got my arm into a position where her force was fully on my exposed arm. I started to feel the blood drain out of my hand and I felt the bone flex, and when I got to the point where I felt like it was going to snap I had to tap out." He says he couldn't move and, at one point, couldn't feel his arms; his heart rate went higher than 180. Twitter exploded with complaints after Rosolie called off the stunt, Us reports, with one viewer noting, "Calling it #EatenAlive is like having a show on the Food Network about cooking a turkey and all they do after 2 hours is preheat the oven." But Rosolie says he accomplished what he set out to—being eaten alive was just the hook, he explains. "I wanted to do something to grab people’s attention to the plight of the disappearing rainforests," he explained earlier this month. "Something completely crazy." And, yes, the snake is fine; as for Rosolie, he was "pretty beaten up," he tells Discovery. (Read about the controversy that swirled around the special.)

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