Sir David Attenborough has some strong words for celebrity survivalist Bear Grylls after shooting some controversial scenes for his new show.
Grylls, an ex-SAS serviceman and survival specialist, is no stranger to controversy – after all, this is a man who once drank his own urine just to stay hydrated in a desert.
Animal Rights groups have been calling him out for years for filming and airing, what they see as disturbing content for his documentaries where he kills animals as means to ‘survive’.
While he’s been able to brush off the criticism for the most part, it seems he now has one critic he might not be able to ignore – the legendary Sir David Attenborough.
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Attenborough, the veteran broadcaster – whose latest series of Planet Earth aired on the BBC just before Christmas – believes Grylls has a lot to ‘answer for’ in regards to his method of filming for his documentaries.
In an interview with The Sun, Attenborough said:
Bear Grylls will have to answer for himself.
I wouldn’t willingly kill an animal just to get a shot.
Attenborough, who’s been making nature documentaries since 1952, claimed he and his production crew ‘never killed an animal’ throughout his illustrious career.
His criticisms come after animal right’s groups slammed the recent series of Channel 4‘s, Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls.
During the show, former Olympic medalist Iwan Thomas, along with former Coronation Street star, Ryan Thomas, took flack from the public when they were filmed killing wildlife for food.
The ex-Corrie actor was filmed grappling and then killing a crocodile, while the former 400-metre athlete was forced to kill, cook and eat a caiman in order to ease his hunger.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain the Olympic silver medalist said:
It was a do or die situation.
It sounds cruel, but I felt no remorse when I killed that caiman – I know that’s horrible.
There was no pleasure in killing it, but we were starving. I feel bad that we took an animal’s life, but we had to eat.
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A previous statement from Channel 4 defended the contestant’s actions saying:
An important part of the series is to find out if the celebrities are capable of surviving alone and able to find sources of food, including hunting and killing for meat; a vital part of their survival as it’s a source of valuable calories and protein.
The celebrities were trained in the humane capture and dispatch of live animals as part of their survival training and the adult caiman was killed humanely.
In 2014 there was a similar outcry against the regular series of The Island when a caiman was killed on camera for food by its contestants.
Despite sparking 93 complaints, broadcasting regulators Ofcom said the show broke no rules.
Animal Rights group PETA claim:
The Island is the result of some worn-out idea about showing crude dominance over the wonders of nature, a deep ignorance of who animals are and a callous disregard for life.
There was no reason other than a desperate quest for ratings to harm and torment the animal.
They also said the contestants on the show, who caught and killed the caiman, ‘should be prosecuted’.