Photo @tbfrost | Words @paulrosolie
There is a reason big fish, and big crocs, and snakes for that matter too, live to see old age: they are shrewd. A few years ago my team and I caught the world record for longest live, verifiably measured wild anaconda. We named her Eleanor after my grandmother. She was resting on floating vegetation in the warm morning sun. The giant anacondas love the floating grasses because if any threat comes, they can dive under immediately. From the tip of a large canoe I saw her, and she saw me, and immediately started going down. Clever girl. When I splashed into the swamp to where she was and wrapped my arms around her it was with the full knowledge that this nearly twenty-foot snake was in full control. She weighed more, was stronger, could swim better, and had dozens of re-curved teeth to use in her defense. The team of 8 researchers with me jumped in too and all of them tried to grab parts of her, but there was nothing to stand on - the water was 20 plus feet deep. We held onto her tail as she thrashed around, and for a moment coils as thick as any of us were emerging and splashing everywhere. It was like fighting the Cracken. When I got control of her head I lost control of everything else, I could no longer swim and could no longer protect from her coils. It was the rest of the team that kept me afloat, and hauled me – and the snake - up onto the boat so that we could measure her and collect data, the first information gathered on green anacondas in the Peruvian Amazon. You can’t tranquilize an anaconda, so for now studying them has to be done the old-school way. Thankfully, not all of them are that hard - or dangerous - to catch, like this small 6 foot female we found on the edge of stream in a swamp. Doesn’t matter how small or large the snake is though, each anaconda I work with I consider the privilege of a lifetime.
To see more photos of this anaconda, which is the largest species of snake in the world , I’m @tbfrost
#snakesofinstagram #peru #amazon #anacondas #giantsnakes #scalesandskin