The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) condemns the recent airing of Discovery’s Eaten Alive special in which an activist attempted to goad a giant anaconda into swallowing him.
This mistreatment of animals for publicity was exploitation and animal abuse. Whether in the wild or in captivity, anacondas only eat once every few weeks because they have to conserve energy to digest food. Provoking an anaconda to attempt to constrict and swallow a person without gaining nourishment is tantamount to animal cruelty.
During the program, Paul Rosolie and his team repeatedly provoked the anaconda in a lengthy effort to get it to engage. Any responsible reptile keeper could have told them that constrictors don’t swallow prey for fun or sport, they do it for nourishment. As an organization, one of PIJAC’s main tenets is to promote responsible pet ownership, including snakes. We therefore denounce the Discovery channel’s mistreatment of animals for the purpose of ratings as irresponsible, exploitative and insulting to those who raise and care for constrictors.