Discovery Channel said today that when Paul Rosolie attempted to be eaten by an Anaconda for its TV special, he did it for all the anacondas out there who have no voice.

Today’s news release on Eaten Alive was Discovery Channel’s first information dump about the December 7 special since a large-ish scale protest erupted over a clip of the program the network ran during Nik Wallenda’s Chicago skyscraper walk.

lisademoraescolumn__140603223319In Eaten Alive, the channel said today, Rosolie will attempt to be swallowed by a 25-to-27-foot anaconda “that slipped through his hands and nearly dragged him to the bottom of the floating forest” that happened “on his one and only previous expedition to this secluded part of the Amazonian jungle.”

In its news release, Discovery Channel describes Rosolie “as snake researcher and conservationist… who has dedicated his career to studying the Giant Green Anaconda.”

In an interview with adventure travel web site Curious Animal, published May 16, 2014, Rosolie described thusly his research and conservation work on this particular anaconda, which he claims is the world’s largest anaconda, during that previous visit to the “floating forest”:

“I have a six-foot arm span and I jumped on a snake where I couldn’t wrap my arms around the snake. That’s a giant snake.”

“She kept moving with me on her back, so I was riding an anaconda and she didn’t even seem to mind. Monstrous animals,” he continued.

Rosolie said he was in “extreme danger” when he hitched a ride on the back of the snake — for research purposes, we now know– adding, “I don’t know why I jumped on it, except I was so excited and amazed to see an animal like that. I think I just needed that experience of getting to touch it. It’s an overwhelming situation. I can’t really account for what I did in that situation.”

This morning, Discovery Channel said, “If Rosolie succeeds this time in capturing this giant beast, he’s going to attempt something no one has ever dared: to be EATEN ALIVE,” while Rosolie floated his “I did it for the Rain Forest and all its living creatures” defense:

“I’ve seen first-hand how the Amazon Rainforest is being destroyed. It is so rampant that we may be the last generation with the opportunity to save it. People need to wake up to what is going on. What better way is there to shock people than to put my life on the line with the largest snake on the planet, the Green Anaconda?” he asked rhetorically, since he’d previously been compelled to reveal the stunt already had been shot, and the snake had survived his publicity stunt, in response to the growing din of critics.

In today’s information dump, Discovery Channel reiterated, saying, “both Paul Rosolie and the Giant Green Anaconda are healthy and alive.” We look forward to its interview with the snake in the special.

Discovery Channel also explained this morning that the Lumpy Ninja costume Rosolie wore during his attempt to force himself, meal-wise, on the snake who was minding her own business in the floating forest, was “built to ensure the snake’s safety just as much as it was to protect Rosolie’s life.” This, in response to the now more than 28,000 signatures on a Change.org petition to persuade Discovery Communications to dump this special it describes as made-for-TV animal abuse. PETA has weighed in too.

“Since Rosolie’s goal was to persevere through the constriction and potential ingestion deep into the belly of the beast, he relied on a custom-built suit he designed for his protection,” Discovery Channel said this morning, explaining “After all, the highest measured force of an anaconda constriction has been documented at 90psi, which would be the equivalent of having a large school bus on one’s chest.  Since anacondas rely on their massive size and power to subdue their prey,  Rosolie risked life and limb in the hopes of measuring the constriction force of a massive anaconda, to gain more insight on its hunting and feeding behaviors, and ultimately, to gain a greater understanding of the inner workings of these majestic creatures.”

Eaten Alive kicks off this year’s Discovery Channel Mega Week, which it described as “a weeklong celebration of all things Discovery.”