Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be eaten alive? A naturalist and wildlife filmmaker will attempt to answer the question next month, in a new and controversial show on the Discovery channel.

Paul Rosolie will don a custom-made snake-proof suit, and be swallowed alive by an anaconda, in an attempt to document what it’s like to enter the belly of the creature. The show will air on the Discovery channel on December 7th.

However, many are already speaking against the show, calling the experiment animal cruelty and asking if the event will be harmful or stressfull to the snake. Pet Snakes, a website for those who keep snakes as pets, warns that regurgitation of undigested food can be unhealthy for the animals.

PawNation, another animal enthusiast site, warns of the same thing:

Not only is the snake not receiving the nutrients from his food, but the regurgitation process also robs the snake of essential digestive acids from his stomach.

Of course, in Discovery’s Eaten Alive, the anaconda being robbed of the nutrients in his human dinner won’t be of great concern, but the potential for physical harm or emotional distress (stress can often prevent snakes from eating) to the animal is creating concern.

So far, Discovery isn’t addressing these concerns — in fact, they’re not talking much about the show at all. Though it has a page on their site, there’s little information offered, and neither the network’s Facebook page nor their Twitter account has discussed it. Those who hope that indicates it’s a joke will surely be disappointed, though, to learn that Rosolie himself has been tweeting about the show.

However, the videos he’s shared are all identified as ‘private’ or ‘no longer available,’ hinting that perhaps the network is already having second thoughts, or perhaps just wasn’t ready to release those trailers.

Having a large snake swallow a human in a special suit might serve as entertainment for some, but overall, it’s probably not the simplest way to see inside an anaconda, nor the safest — for man or snake. Is Discovery’s Eaten Alive entertainment, science, or just animal cruelty?

[Photo: *Amanda Richards]