David Attenborough has slammed professional adventurer, survivalist, and Chief Scout Bear Grylls for showing the brutal killing of a crocodile on his TV show Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls.
In 2016, British reality TV star Ollie Locke was shown jumping on the back of the creature and stabbing it through the neck. The show was a charity special edition of Bear’s survival program, in which people are taught survival skills and left on an island to fend for themselves.
Ollie, then 28, leapt on the back of the Caiman crocodile and pushed the knife through its neck, having been taught how to kill the animal in a humane way. Locke, famous for TV show Made In Chelsea, said shortly afterward: “I think that’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my entire life,” and later broke down when talking about the incident to his mother.
At the time, many fans and animal rights groups were not pleased with the segment, shown on Channel 4 in the UK.
The 2017 charity episode also featured Olympic sprinter Iwan Thomas and actor Ryan Thomas also killing a crocodile with a knife.
Now Sir David Attenborough has waded in, condemning the showing of the segments. The much-loved documentary maker, in his usual measured words, has said that he would never do what Bear had done for his TV show.
“We’ve never killed an animal,” the Blue Planet and Planet Earth presenter told the Sun, like an unhappy school teacher. “Bear Grylls will have to answer for himself. But I wouldn’t willingly kill an animal just to get a shot.”
Oof. That’s the British equivalent of Pwning.
Bear, who isn’t even an actual bear, has come under criticisms for earlier episodes of the same TV show. In a 2015 episode, four contestants were shown sneaking up on a pig before slitting its throat. The show received over 450 complaints from viewers. Apparently undeterred, the show still broadcast the crocodile-killing segments.
Channel 4 defended the killing, telling Digital Spy, “those on the island all received training on how to kill animals humanely and this was utilised properly in each instance.”
In better news, the 91-year-old also announced that he was working on a huge new conservation show for Netflix.