Gordon Buchanan did not believe that he would be the one to find the world's largest Anaconda. He was only 17 years old when he was working part-time in a restaurant owned by the wife of a very famous photographer Nick Gordon. Since they were close, Nick invited Gordon on a trip to Sierra Leone, to haul equipment for a documentary he was working on. The project was eventually dropped, but Nick Gordon continued to mentor the young Buchanan.
At 45-years Old, He Shows No Signs of Slowing Down
His career is not even close to losing steam. In 2016, Gordon Buchanan became the host of a BBC series called Tribes, Predators & Me. He is definitely a guy that loves living on the edge and has been through a lot of adventures during his career.
He Lives in Remote Parts of the World
The main plot of his new BBC show is that he travels to remote parts of the world, where he lives with indigenous people. The twist is that these tribes also live near dangerous animals, so there is a lot of danger involved in every episode.
He Traveled to Ecuador
For one of the recent episodes of the show, Buchanan traveled to Ecuador to meet local Waorani tribe. The tribe speaks in the Huaorani language, a language that is still unclassified and isolated from every other language in the world.
The Waorani Live Along the Amazon
The Waorani are one of the few tribes that are so isolated from the outside world, that they still have to live on the Amazon river in order to be close enough to hunt wildlife. The crew spends several weeks living among the tribe.
They Live Along the Same Water as the Largest Anaconda
This is not a recent development - it has long been a tradition in the tribe to capture and release green anacondas, as a rite of passage for the boys. I've heard of similar stories about tribes in Africa and some parts of Asia.
A Man Proves His Manhood
Like I previously mentioned, the boys in the tribe have to capture the Anaconda with their bare hands, in order to prove his strength. They believe that by capturing the snake, you are consuming its essence and vitality.
Getting the Ability to Defend Their Territory
The primary reason why the tribe tries to capture the force and power of the Anaconda snake is that they believe that this is what will ultimately enable them to defend their territory from other neighboring tribes and animals.
Buchanan Joined the Hunt
Finally, after a few weeks of living with the tribe and learning about their customs, the Waorani allowed Gordon to join them in the hunt. He had to keep up with stealth and quick movements, as they couldn't afford to alert the snake of their coming.
He Started Fearing for Their Safety
One of the main rules in the Anaconda hunt is that the men must not harm the snake. This worried Gordon, as that meant the snake would be alive even after catching it and could attack any of them - perhaps even fatally.
They Spot the Giant Snake Lying in Shallow Water
After several hours of scouting through the river and various marshes, the team was able to spot a pretty large specimen of the species. They had to grab it head first or otherwise risk the Anaconda biting them
It Was 17-Feet Long
The Anaconda that they caught was over 17-feet long. Snakes of this species normally weight between 70 and 150 pounds, and that makes them one of the fiercest predators in the Amazonian river. I wouldn't like to meet one in person!
"It Kept Getting Bigger and Bigger!"
Buchanan explains that, as he was watching the men pull out the snake from the shallow waters "it kept getting bigger and bigger!" "It is simply a monster, beautiful monster," he stated after witnessing the whole ordeal.
Isolated from the World
The Waorani have been trying to remain isolated from the world, although this is becoming more difficult as oil exploration and other industries such as logging and rubber extraction have depleted over 15 percent of the tropical forest.
The Giant Widow
The Anaconda is a giant snake that can kill and eat her partner during the mating season. All records of cannibalism involving Green Anacondas involve cannibalistic females, and every time the sex of the cannibalized individual was male - guys, beware!
There Is Something Greek about It
The scientific name of the Green Anaconda is Eunectus Murinus. Both words are Greek in origin. Eunectus, means "good swimmer," which the green anaconda definitely is - Murinus, on the other hand, means "of mice," implying that green anacondas eat mice.
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