A greedy anaconda had to be rescued after swallowing a giant animal and getting stuck in riverside branches.
Footage shows how an officer from Brazil’s Environmental Military Police (PMA) uses a spade to free the five-metre- (16.4-foot-) anaconda from the branches along the Iguatemi River.
The incident took place on a stretch of the river in the municipality of Mundo Novo in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul on the afternoon of November 2.
Staff said the anaconda had a huge bulge in its stomach after having consumed an unfortunate large animal. It is believed the big snake was trapped in the riverside branches due to its fat belly after gorging on its prey.
The PMA said a branch had to be cut to release the reptile. However, once freed, it was unable to go underwater thanks to its large lunch keeping it afloat.
The officers said they found the anaconda by chance when they were patrolling the area for illegal overfishing.
It is not clear what animal the anaconda had eaten, but in a similar case from September, an anaconda was found to have ingested a whole capybara, the largest living rodent.
In that case, which took place in a river in the municipality of Rio Bonito in the same state, businessman Juca Ygarape, who came across the snake, said: ‘When we arrived, a part of the anaconda was floating. We deduced that it had eaten a capybara because of the size.
‘It didn’t sink, it remained there for a long time digesting the food. We were amazed at the size. Some anacondas scare us. When they eat, they transform. It’s crazy.’
Experts recommend that humans keep their distance from anacondas, particularly after they have just eaten, as the presence of humans can stress the large snakes.
In order to facilitate their escape, they end up regurgitating their prey, which can harm and even kill them, as they end up getting no return for their high-energy expenditure.
It is not clear which of the four species of anaconda is seen in the latest video. However, from the reptile’s appearance, it looks to be a green anaconda (Eunectes murinus).
The green anaconda is the heaviest and among the longest known extant snake species. It can weigh up to 154 lbs and reach 17.1 feet in length.