The first recorded sightings of giant anacondas were from the time of the colonization of South America, when early European explorers entered the dense jungles and claimed to have seen giant snakes measuring up to 18 metres (59. 1 ft) long. Natives also reported seeing anacondas upwards of 10 to 18 metres (32. 8 to 59. 1 ft). Anacondas above 5 metres (16. 4 ft) in length are rare. The Wildlife Conservation Society has, since the early 20th century, offered a large cash reward for live delivery of any snake of 30 feet (9. 1 m) or more in length, but the prize has never been claimed, despite the numerous sightings of giant anacondas. In a survey of 780 wild anacondas in Venezuela, the largest captured was 17 feet (5. 2 m) long. A specimen measured in 1944 exceeded this size when a petroleum expedition in Colombia claimed to have measured an anaconda which was 11. 4 metres (37. 4 ft) in length, but its claim has never been proven.
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