UPDATED: That didn’t take long: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is slamming Discovery’s Eaten Alive. The upcoming special has naturist and author Paul Rosolie being swallowed by a giant anaconda snake while wearing a “snake-proof” suit.
PETA issued a venomous response to the news: “This blatant publicity stunt sounds far-fetched, but if the description is accurate, the snake was tormented and suffered for the sake of ratings—as animals usually do when they’re used for entertainment. 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. Shame on this pseudo ‘wildlife expert’ for tormenting this animal, and shame on the Discovery Channel for giving him the incentive to do so. PETA has not heard back after reaching out to the Discovery Channel asking them to pull the show, whether it is a hoax or not.”
Discovery assures the special—which has already been filmed—is not a hoax and that the snake survived. We’re told Rosolie covered himself with pigs’ blood to be more appetizing to the snake. But Discovery is playing it coy, however, about how much of Rosolie was actually consumed.
Eaten Alive will air Sunday, Dec. 7. Two promos for the special here. PETA’s response was updated since the original posting.
UPDATE 2: Rosolie has responded to the criticism via Twitter: