MATO GROSSO DO SUL, Brazil – A huge Brazilian anaconda was spotted on video last week, seen writhing with all its might as a trio of fishermen pulled it in and out of the river water.
The group of fishermen — Sirlei Oliveira, husband Betinho Borges and friend Rodrigo Santos — were boating down the Santa Maria river, in the southwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, when they came across the snake, O Correio News reported.
The anaconda was estimated to be at least 17 feet, and is seen moving away from the tiny boat, its belly appearing to be full of what was likely its prey a short time earlier.
Throughout the video, Borges is seen prodding the anaconda with a wooden oar as the snake makes repeated efforts to flee.
Yelling in Portuguese, Oliveria can be heard urging her husband to leave the snake alone, while Santos can be heard egging his friend on.
After pulling the anaconda’s massive tail from the water several times, Borges eventually lets the snake go and watches it scurry away.
When they caught wind of the video, environmental police in Mato Grosso do Sul fined the three fisherman the equivalent of $600 each.
Every member of the group also faces up to a year and a half in prison if they’re convicted under an environmental law that prohibits the chasing and hunting of wildlife without a license.
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