An animal rights group on Thursday asked the Discovery Channel not to air "Eaten Alive," a show planned for next month where a naturalist attempts to get swallowed by a giant snake.
Delcianna Winders, the PETA foundation's deputy general counsel, said that if Discovery's promo for the show is to be believed, an anaconda snake was tormented and suffered for the sake of ratings.
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"Shame on this pseudo wildlife expert for tormenting this animal, and shame on the Discovery Channel for giving him the incentive to do so," Winders said.
Discovery spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg refused to comment on PETA's request that the network, part of Discovery Communications Inc., not air the show. But she said the featured snake is "alive and well."
Goldberg also wouldn't give any details about "Eaten Alive," set to air Dec. 7 as part of Discovery's "Mega Week," beyond a filmed promotion that appears on the network's website.
The promotion claims that filmmaker Paul Rosolie "enters the belly of an anaconda in a custom-built, snake-proof suit." The video shows a him walking near a snake in a spaceman-type outfit, supposedly designed to make him as appetizing as possible.
"You have to go in headfirst," the man explains.
The video doesn't show anyone actually being swallowed by the snake.
"Anacondas go days without eating and expend the energy needed to do so selectively," Winders said. "Making this snake use up energy by swallowing this fool and possibly regurgitating him would have left the poor animal exhausted."