David Attenborough condemns killing animals on TV “just to get a shot”

The legendary naturalist said adventurer Bear Grylls "will have to answer for himself" after scenes in his show featured contestants killing animals

Bear Grylls and David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough is not happy at Bear Grylls for broadcasting the killing of animals on screen for the sake of entertainment.

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The 91-year-old broadcaster and naturalist said that he and filmmakers working on his programmes would never willingly kill an animal “just to get a shot”.

“We’ve never killed an animal,” Attenborough told The Sun. “Bear Grylls will have to answer for himself.

“But I wouldn’t willingly kill an animal just to get a shot.”

Sir David Attenborough in Blue Planet II (BBC, TL)

Channel 4’s The Island with Bear Grylls features scenes of stranded islanders killing creatures for food. Grylls has previously come under fire from animal lovers and the charity PETA, especially after Olympian Iwan Thomas and former Corrie actor Ryan Thomas were filmed wrestling a crocodile and killing it with a knife.

Ofcom also received hundreds of complaints after episodes where contestants slashed the throat of a sleeping pig.

Attenborough is not the only TV broadcaster to criticise the use of animals in entertainment programmes: BBC presenter Chris Packham wrote an open letter to the makers of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in Radio Times urging them to stop the “use and abuse of animals” on the show.

“I know that you have consultants to advise on animal welfare, but I’m afraid I can guarantee that some animals are harmed during production, because they are fragile or easily stressed,” he wrote.. “Or simply killed, as they are in your ‘Bushtucker Trials’.”

Meanwhile, BBC presenter Attenborough has revealed he is making a move to Netflix – and has agreed to host a show on conservation with the online streaming giant.

He said, “Netflix want me to do something on conservation and have asked me to do it, and I’ve said I would.

“There’s certain things that the BBC can do and can’t do, and I can see some reasons why to do a programme on Netflix rather than the BBC. But while the BBC ask me to do things that’s what I will do.”

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Sir David Attenborough will next appear in Attenborough and the Sea Dragon on Sunday 7th January at 8pm on BBC1