David Attenborough has criticised TV star and adventurer Bear Grylls, saying he would never kill an animal for 'good' television viewing. Bear's reality TV show The Island has shown the deaths of various animals, including crocodiles, pigs and turkeys, leaving many viewers distressed and in uproar. Sir David, who has been making documentaries since the fifties, told The Sun: "We've never killed an animal. Bear Grylls will have to answer for himself. But I wouldn't willingly kill an animal just to get a shot."
The 91-year-old's comments come after Bear, 43, was openly criticised by animal charity PETA. His TV show features contestants trying to survive in the wild, hunting and killing creatures for food, finding water and building their own shelter. On the celebrity version of the Channel 4 series, Olympian Iwan Thomas and former Coronation Street actor Ryan Thomas were seen wrestling a crocodile before killing it with a knife.
Celebrities have been filmed killing animals on The Island
PETA UK condemned the "miserable celebrities and producers" for allowing the events to happen, while viewers made complaints to media watchdog Ofcom. Former Made in Chelsea star Ollie Locke has also been filmed trapping a crocodile, before slaughtering it with a knife.
Iwan later defended his actions during an appearance on Good Morning Britain. "It was a do or die situation," he said, revealing that the contestants had each lost two stone. "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."
Sir David is working on a new show for Netflix
Last year, viewers praised Sir David's latest TV show, the sequel to his highly popular The Blue Planet. His next venture will be a show on conservation, which is due to air on Netflix. He revealed: "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."