Italo Nascimento Fernandes along with his wife were traveling near their home in Brazil when they saw a bizarre sight.
On the side of the highway in front of them was a huge snake —- an anaconda to be exact — so appeared to attempt a dangerous crossing.
Fernandes knew he had to help the snake.
“We decided to stop the car and get out,” Fernandes shared with The Dodo. “There are no signs for the cars to wait so she can cross. I have seen snakes run over on the highway before, and think such thing is a crime.”
Fernandes then started to signal to oncoming vehicles to avoid hitting the huge snake but he was not alone.
“Many people quickly appeared and also helped,” he said.
“It’s not everyone who protects animals like that. Some people prefer to see them dead,” Fernandes said. “Seeing all the people help gave a wonderful sensation.”
And thanks to all the helpful hands, the snake was able to make it safely across.
“She went into the woods and left,” Fernandes said. “It was beautiful.”
The group’s combined efforts have earned them the thanks of Flavio Terassini, biologist.
When speaking to G1 Globo, he estimates the snake to be around 10 years old — a very lucky survivor as highway deaths for the breed are not uncommon.
“People did a good job of stopping traffic in order to stop it from being run over,” he said.
While Anacondas are usually most active in the early evening and night — their huge size makes them slow on land — as we have seen.
Anacondas are found in tropical South America and are semi-aquatic snakes according to Live Science.
Known for being some of the biggest snakes in the world as well as their swimming ability, “anaconda” is the common name for the genus Eunectes, a genus of boa.
In Greek, Eunectes is defined as “good swimmer.”
According to herpetologist and professor of biology at Southern Utah University, Bill Heyborne states how there are four recognized species of anaconda.
There is the green anaconda, the yellow or Paraguayan anaconda, the dark-spotted anaconda and the Beni or Bolivian anaconda.
“They can be differentiated from one another genetically, but also based on their size and geographic range,” Heyborne said.
In addition, Heyborne said that when most people say “anaconda,” they are actually referring to the green anaconda — which is the biggest of the four species.
The green anaconda is the heaviest snake in the world and also, one of the longest.
Anacondas, according to the Jacksonville Zoo, are prominently featured in South America myths — appearing as shape shifters, as the creator of water, as vicious human-eaters or as magical, spiritual beings with healing properties.
In addition, there have also been reports of anacondas reaching lengths of 40, 50 as well as 100 feet — far longer than anything that has been scientifically verified.
The reports have encouraged the Giant Anaconda myth which originated in the early 20th century by explores and colonists.
…so folks, what do you do when the anaconda crosses the road?
If you ask me, I believe the myth and I am running for the hills — errr other side of the street.
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