Discovery Channel is in hot water over a controversial new special set to air next month.
The cable channel unveiled the first teaser for Eaten Alive, in which snake researcher, conservationist and author Paul Rosolie attempts to be Eaten Alive by a Giant Green Anaconda, last week.
Yes, you read that correctly: The dude is willingly serving himself up as reptile chow and filming the entire process.
Airing on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 9/8c, Eaten Alive will document Rosolie's expedition to — and you really have to read Discovery's official description of the place to get the full effect — "an enchanted and hidden realm deep within the Amazonian jungle, an area the locals call the 'floating forest.'" There, Rosolie believes he will find the largest anaconda in the world, because he previously went toe-to-toe with a 25- to 27-foot snake in the same area... and it nearly dragged him to the bottom of what sounds like some kind of underwater jungle. If Rosolie is able to capture the anaconda this time, he plans to attempt to be the first person to be eaten alive by the Green Anaconda.
No, we're still not joking, In fact, it gets even crazier from here.
In Eaten Alive, Rosolie will don a custom-built suit that's specially constructed to keep both himself and the snake safe — though we're not quite sure how — as he risks his life and limbs to measure the constriction force of an anaconda and collect more information on the animal's hunting and feeding behaviors. In the release explaining the special, Discovery noted that after a 60-day filming period, both Rosolie and the Giant Green Anaconda are healthy and alive.
However, a Change.org petition urging Discovery Channel to pull the special has amassed more than 28,000 signatures as of Nov. 12. In the petition, author Ben Paramonte accuses Discovery of "animal cruelty" and of perpetuating negative stereotypes about snakes, who do not naturally eat humans. "This is animal abuse to the highest degree and absolutely disgusting, and could kill the snake — an adult green anaconda cannot fit the width of an adult man's shoulders into it's [sic] body," he writes.
PETA has also issued a statement condemning the special. "Not only does this publicity stunt sound far-fetched, it would also be lethal for the snake. Shame on this pseudo 'wildlife expert' for tormenting and likely killing an animal for a thrill, and shame on the Discovery Channel for giving him the incentive to do it," Delcianna Winders, the organization's Deputy General Counsel, told Us Weekly in a statement. The statement continued: "Whatever the filmmaker has planned, the snake will likely pay the ultimate price, as animals usually do when they're used for entertainment. PETA has reached out to the Discovery Channel and asked them to pull the show, whether it is a hoax or not."
What do you think? Will you watch Eaten Alive?
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