Slate.com is carrying a series called World of Wonders, Part 5 written by Joshua Foer (posted Feb 17, 2011) is titled, On the trail of a 40-foot Anaconda, the fifth hidden wonder of South America. The story chronicles a trip on the Marañón and Samiria rivers, in the Pacaya-Samiria reserve in the Peruvian Amazon. The author and his companion consider the Pacaya prime anaconda country, because every local seems to have a story about the massive serpent that got away. Their guide, Juan Carlos claimed that his army unit once shot a 40-foot anaconda while on a commando mission deep in the Amazon. And of course the remains disappeared when the military brass took the snake and so record-breaking catch was never verified. (Where have we heard this before?) Juan Carlos is quoted as saying, "People have wasted a lot of money looking in the wrong places…” Besure to look at the photos accompanying this article, I particularly like the aerial photo of a riparian mud flat shaped like a snake's head.
For a different take on this and the classic stories of over-sized snakes go to my Giant Constricting Snakes Web Site.