Boa bites dancer during rehearsal for Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ at VMAs
(CNN) — A 6-foot-long boa constrictor named Rocky stole the show Friday during a rehearsal for Nicki Minaj’s performance of “Anaconda” at the MTV Video Music Awards when he bit a backup dancer in the arm, according to a statement from MTV.
The female dancer, who was not identified by Viacom representatives, was treated immediately on the spot by a medic at The Forum in Los Angeles and later sent to a local hospital for treatment, Chris Velvin, director of production safety for Viacom Media, told CNN. Her injuries were not life-threatening.
Minaj was on stage for the rehearsal but was not involved in the incident, according to the statement on the MTV website. She remarked, “Did she get bit by the snake?”
Boa constrictors are not venomous, and Velvin said this snake had never attacked anyone before.
“He’s a professional entertainment snake,” Velvin said. “He’s been doing this for 15 years.”
The snake’s owner, Hollywood Animals, did not return calls asking for comment.
The snake was draped around the dancer’s shoulders when it bit her on the inside of her left arm, according to the statement.
It’s unknown what provoked the snake, Velvin said, but the rehearsal had been going normally and the injured dancer had practiced with the snake in the past.
Sunday’s live performance of “Anaconda,” a raunchy remix of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” will still include a snake, but it will not be Rocky, Velvin said.
By David Shortell