On Friday, one of Nicki Minaj's backup dancers got bitten by a snake on stage while the rapper performed her new song "Anaconda" during a rehearsal for the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. The animal is a 6-foot boa constrictor, E! News has learned.
The female performer, a contortionist, was treated on the scene by a medic and then transported to a hospital, MTV News reported. It said the snake, a Dumeril's boa named Rocky, bit the woman on the inside of her left hand and quoted the director of production safety for Viacom Media Networks, which owns the cable channel, as saying that her injury was not life-threatening.
The snake's handler had been watching the performance and after the incident, it was halted and Minaj rushed to the dancer to check on her, MTV News said.
"They resumed rehearsals minus the boa after the incident," a source told E! News.
(Pictured above: A Demuril's boa, which was not involved in the incident.)
The animal has been used in performances for 15 years, MTV News said. Dumeril's boas are non-venomous, originated in Madagascar, feast mainly on rodents and are generally non-aggressive. When they do attack, they typically wrap their bodies around their prey.
A different snake, either another boa or a python, will take Rocky's place during Minaj's live performance at the VMAs, MTV News reported. The ceremony takes place on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.
Other performers include Beyoncé and Iggy Azalea, who also suffered a mishap during a VMAs rehearsal—the rapper fell off the stage. Presenters include the likes of Kim Kardashian and pop star Demi Lovato, while Miley Cyrus is also set to make an appearance.
Earlier this week, Minaj released a very racy music video for "Anaconda," which shows her getting frisky with fellow rapper Drake. The song samples Sir Mix-A-Lot's 1992 hit rap song "Back Got Back" (which he still performs) and is featured on her upcoming third studio album, The Pink Print.
—Reporting by Marc Malkin