A 26-year-old explorer and wildlife expert who was eaten alive and regurgitated by an anaconda has defended his actions after facing hundreds of claims of animal cruelty.
Paul Rosolie wore a specially-made ‘snake-proof’ suit and covered himself in pig’s blood for his extraordinary stunt, which is due to be aired on the programme ‘Eaten Alive’ on the Discovery Channel.
But the wildlife expert has been branded a snake-baiting opportunist by some corners, with more than 40,000 signatories on a Change.org petition demanding the show is never aired and animal rights group PETA calling Rosolie a ‘fool’.
‘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 body,’ the petition reads.
‘The show promotions even show the host holding an anaconda by the head as if he’s about to be attacked. That’s perpetuating stereotypes that condition people to fear these animals. Humans are not their natural prey!’
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rosolie defended the stunt, saying that people cared about animals but not their living space and he wanted to ‘force a dialogue’ on the issue of habitat destruction.
‘Nothing else that I could have done would have gotten more attention than this,’ he said.
Wildlife advocates called his stunt cruel. However, Rosolie says his mission is to protect the creatures.
“If u know me—I would never hurt a living thing. But you’ll have to watch # EatenAlive to find out how it goes down,” he tweeted.