Shark diver and underwater videographer Bartolomeo Bove is on a mission—to encounter and record the green anaconda, the largest alive snake in the world. Here's his experience.
Snakes, in general, give people the heebie-jeebies. They make your skin crawl. If you see them slithering towards you hissing, flicking its tongue in your general direction, you'll probably drop whatever you're doing and run for cover.
This is not the case for shark diver and underwater videographer, Bartolomeo Bove, though. In July, the Italian flew down to South America to dive into the clear waters of the Formosa river and swim with one of the largest snake alive in the world—the green anaconda.
Accompanied by his diving partner, Juca Ygarape, Bove did manage to accomplish what he set out to do. He came face-to-face with the apex predator he flew halfway across the world to meet—a 23-foot long, nearly 200-pound anaconda. When he did, he let the beast grace his camera with a kiss.
Although non-venomous, getting in proximity with a snake the sheer size as this anaconda can be unnerving. Here's what Bove told The Dodo about the experience: "The anaconda swims calm and peaceful, completely indifferent to our presence. Sometimes she comes closer, curious about my camera, licking the lens.”
In the four-minute, 26-second video, available on what appears to be Bartolomeo Bove's official Youtube channel, the snake can be seen inching closer to the camera, initially a bit curious, then getting even closer to make contact with the camera.
Bove continued in the interview: "The behavior of the anaconda debunks the myth that it is an aggressive and violent creature that can endanger people's lives.”
“It is without a doubt an extremely strong predator and the largest of all snakes that can react if threatened or molested. [She is] to be treated with a lot of respect.”
As positive as Bove is about his experience with the green anacondas, they should be handled with care as they are known to gorge birds, turtles, capybaras, wild pigs, and even jaguars. They tend to wrap themselves around their victims and drown them in the water before swallowing them whole.
When asked about what Bove felt about his overall experience shooting the snake, he signed off saying: “It was an unbelievable experience. No words can do justice to the sensations that I was really feeling during that experience.”