The Amazon boasts the world’s greatest variety of wildlife, but no one had ever seen anything quite like this.
Gliding through the dense, waterlogged vegetation was a 20ft long, 18 ½ st green anaconda — one of the world’s most terrifying creatures.
Moving tentatively towards it was a man on his hands and knees pretending to be a wild boar — clad head to toe in a black armoured suit slathered in pig’s blood.
Paul Rosolie was on a terrifying mission: to be eaten alive by the biggest and mightiest snake on Earth.
The 27-year-old wildlife presenter and his ten-strong team had spent 60 days struggling up to the headwaters of the world’s largest river, battling electric eels, floods and poachers.
Finally, they’d found a snake that might be big enough to swallow Rosolie whole as the cameras rolled.
Tomorrow night in America, the Discovery Channel will broadcast the result of his experiment in its show Eaten Alive, despite protests from conservationists on both sides of the Atlantic. The documentary — to be aired in the UK on Friday — will follow his stomach-churning quest into the very belly of the beast.
The channel has refused to say exactly what ensued after the snake wrapped Rosolie in its coils. But he has explained what drove him to such extremes of apparent lunacy — and told of his fear as he realised the snake had accepted his invitation to subject him to one of the natural world’s most lingering deaths.
‘I wanted to do something to grab people’s attention to the plight of the disappearing rainforests, something completely crazy,’ he told me this week. ‘Everything else has been tried.’ Whether his