Ok, I know that picture may give you the “willies.” It sure does give them to me! This is an Anaconda and, according to National Geographic, these snakes can grow to a weight of 550 pounds! Wow! Now you know why I’m not ready to go on the mission trip down the Amazon!
Someone in the Peace Corps once published a fictitious manual of advice for volunteers headed to South America. In it they described how you should handle it if you ever, by chance, met up with one of these. Their advice was listed under the heading, “What to Do if Attacked by an Anaconda”:
1. If you're attacked by an anaconda, do not run; the snake is faster than you are.
2. Lie flat on the ground.
3. Put your arms tight at your sides and your legs tight against one another.
4. The snake will begin to climb over your body.
5. Do not panic.
6. The snake will begin to swallow you from the feet end.
7. Step 6 will take a long time.
8. After awhile, slowly and with as little movement as possible, reach down, take your knife, and very gently slide it into the snake's mouth. Then suddenly sever the snake's head.
9. Be sure your knife is sharp.
10. Be sure you have your knife.
I guess that would fall under the heading of “Be prepared,” huh?