Hoaxes & Rumors

Boy Attacked by Snake as Photographers Watch. Real or Hoax?

Boy Attacked by Snake as Photographers Watch. Real or Hoax?

A photograph shows a child apparently being attacked by a snake as cameramen stand by and film without helping the young victim. One version of the photo shows a National Geographic logo. Is this photo real or is it a hoax?

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It is a film which dramatized an attack. 

The photo is actually a still photo from the Discovery Channel series Nature’s Deadliest which aired back in 2008. This specific scene is from episode 4 entitled Africa 2. The scene actually shows a girl – not a boy as many readers assume. In the dramatization, the girl is attacked by an African Rock Python and her friend runs to get help. A man comes to assist, fights the snake off of the girl, only to have the snake turn on him. The man is then killed in the attack.

To reiterate, the entire scene is merely a dramatization and did not actually happen and the child is merely acting. Below are a couple of screen shots taken from the same episode of Nature’s Deadliest.

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The show began with a disclaimer that the episode may be disturbing to some viewers.

Let’s take a look at the photo which has been circulating since around 2010. The image has often been accompanied by angry commentary covering topics such as class and racial warfare. What is perhaps missed in the discussion, aside from the fact that the scene is a work of fiction, is that it shows a white man dying while rescuing the child. It should also be noted that National Geographic had nothing to do with this show, and the logo was apparently superimposed on the graphic later.

The second scene of the film shows a man coming to rescue the girl. He is able to successfully pull the snake off of the girl.

Things then go wrong for the rescuer as the snake then focuses its attack on the man and kills him.

Discovery included the following disclaimer at the beginning of the show:

Note: This article was originally published on August 22, 2012, and was the most popular article here at Wafflesatnoon.com over the next 18 months. It has also been plagiarized by several other websites that did not feel a need to give us proper credit. In 2016, the photo continues to be circulated on social media, and some readers – even after reading the explanation above – still seem to believe that an actual snake attack occurred.


Bottom Line

The image showing a child being attacked by a snake while photographers watch is a disturbing scene. The photo, however, is taken out of context and merely shows a scene being filmed for a dramatization. The Discovery Channel episode in question may be available online, as it was available for instant streaming on Netflix as recently as 2013.

Updated January 7, 2016
Originally published August 2012

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