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Daredevil naturalist who allowed himself to be swallowed alive by an anaconda so he could film INSIDE the creature reveals he was more scared for the animal’s safety than his own Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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  • Naturalist Paul Rosolie donned a special suit to experience being eaten by an anaconda in the Amazon this past summer
  • He says he took part in the experiment to raise awareness of the snake’s habitat, which is being impacted by gold-mining  
  • The event will air on Discovery Channel this Sunday at 9pm ET


The American naturalist who filmed himself getting eaten by an anaconda for a highly-anticipated television event has spoken out about what inspired him to take part in the risky stunt.

This past summer, Rosolie donned a special suit to let a 25-foot 400-pound snake eat him in a dangerous performance set to air on Discovery Channel this Sunday. Overall, Rosolie was so confident in the suit’s design that he was more worried about the snake’s safety than his own.

‘I didn’t want to stress [the snake] out too much. I wanted to make sure that the suit was smooth and wasn’t going to hurt the snake,’ Rosolie said. ‘ I really wasn’t scared. We tested this suit and worked on this with experts so we knew I was going to be safe.’

Amid a backlash from animal rights activists who believe the anaconda was tortured by being forced to eat Rosolie, a man much bigger than its usual prey, Rosolie has responded to say the snake was unharmed and that the experiment was designed to raise money to save the animal’s habitat.

‘I wanted to do something that would absolutely shock people,’ Rosolie told the New York Post. ‘Environmentalists, we love to preach to the choir. What I’m trying to do with this is bring in a bunch of people that wouldn’t necessarily know what’s going on in the Amazon.’

Fundrasier: The special to air Sunday will reportedly advertise a fundraiser to save the snake's habitat 

‘For the type of attention that this is getting and for the type of emergency that’s going on down there — desperate times, desperate measures.’

‘Once they see the show, these are people who are going to be supporters’ he said. ‘It’s a cool little dissonance there — they’re all coming out against me, but I’m the guy that’s been down there in the jungle trying to protect these things.’

Rosolie, a New Jersey native who first visited the Amazon at age 18, spent 60 days hiking through the rain forest in Peru with a team of about a dozen people searching for the right anaconda to take part in the stunt.

In the process, the team also started the first scientific study of anacondas in the wild, taking down the weight, length and sex of each snake they came across. They also took samples of their skin to test for mercury, a by-product of the gold-mining industry which is encroaching on the creature’s habitat. The special on Sunday will be promoting a fundraiser to raise money to save the snake’s habitat.

The naturalist and his crew had nearly run out of the time allotted by the Discovery Channel when they finally tracked down a female green anaconda that Rosolie first spotted in 2008.

He says it took 12 people fighting in water above their heads to catch the 25-foot 400-500 pound anaconda, adding that herpetologists were on site to make sure the snake was in good health throughout its short captivity.

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