An online petition demanding that Discovery Channel cancels its snake baiting TV special with Paul Rosolie and set to be broadcast this coming Sunday in America already collected tens of thousands of signatures by Tuesday morning.
Discovery is completely silent over the petition asking viewers to boycott Discovery Channel, saying "Discovery Channel is now committing animal abuse".
The online petition blasts Discovery Channel for the "absolutely disgusting" ratings stunt in which Paul Rosolie gets a snake to swallow him while wearing a custom-built snake-proof suit.
"The show promo even shows the host holding an anaconda by the head as if he's about to be attacked. That's perpetuating stereotypes that condition people to fear these animals. Humans are not their natural prey!"
"This is the same network that 20 years ago brought us Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter. Steve educated and excited people with his passion for reptiles," says the petition. "It is sad to see that this is what has become of Discovery programing".
America's PETA says it's clear that "the snake was tormented and suffered for the sake of ratings - as animals usually do when they're used for entertainment".
"Making this snake use up energy by swallowing this fool and then possibly regurgitating him would have left the poor animal exhausted and deprived of the energy that he or she needs. Shame on this pseudo 'wildlife expert' for tormenting this animal, and shame on the Discovery Channel for giving him the incentive to do so," says PETA.
Stephen Secor, a professor at the department of biological sciences at the University of Alabama says he is appalled at the show and that he was contacted in December 2013 to help as scientific advisor and that he was "shocked and then saddened that anyone would consider producing such a show".
"I explained at lengths how a show could be produced that would highlight the amazing biology and physiology of the anaconda, one that is accurate and of interest to both the public and biologists alike."
"I adamantly told them that I would not participate in any project involving someone being swallowed by an anaconda; however I would work with them on an accurate educational/scientific production," says Stephen Secor.
"However, Discovery went with working with an amateur naturalist and a show based on a stunt."
"When I spoke to the producers of this show, I also explained the damage such a show would have on the public's perception of large constricting snakes and the work of professional scientists."
"The Discovery Channel dropped the ball and has taken the presentation of the natural world to a new low," says Stephen Secor who've signed the online petition.
"The producers keep trying to convince me that the message Paul Rosolie was hoping to convey in the show was conservation. Tagging conservation as justification for this show clearly demonstrates that he, the producers, and Discovery have no clue what they are doing."