Bear Grylls could be fined for killing and boiling protected frog in Bulgaria

Environment officials say TV show violated national park rules on hunting

Adam Forrest@adamtomforrest
Friday 22 February 2019 12:39
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Bear Grylls kills frog in episode of 'Running Wild'

Bear Grylls could be fined by Bulgarian officials after he killed a frog and boiled it on a camping stove for his TV show Running Wild.

The British adventurer and US dance star Derek Hough were seen cooking the amphibian before swimming across a lake in Bulgaria’s Rila national park for an episode filmed in June 2017.

The country’s environment and water ministry said the production crew had broken a series of regulations while filming in the area, including swimming in a protected lake and the hunting and killing of an animal.

The ministry said fines would be imposed following its investigation, but it was not yet clear who would be held responsible for the violations.

A Bulgarian production company involved in the filming could be fined between 1,000 and 10,000 lev (between £450 and £4,450), while Grylls and Mr Hough could be hit with personal fines of between 500 and 5,000 lev (between £225 and £2,250), according to the Bulgarian news agency BTA.

Grylls, a former member of the British armed forces’ Special Air Service (SAS) and current Chief Scout at The Scout Association, began presenting TV shows about outdoor survival skills in the mid-Noughties.

In 2016 the presenter was condemned by animal charities after contestants on The Island with Bear Grylls killed and ate a crocodile. The controversial episode saw Made in Chelsea star Ollie Locke jump on the back of the animal and stab it through the back of its neck.

Contestants were also seen killing pigs and turkeys as part of the show’s survival challenges.

Sir David Attenborough criticised Grylls last month for killing animals purely for filming purposes.

“Bear Grylls will have to answer for himself. But I wouldn’t willingly kill an animal just to get a shot," the veteran broadcaster said.

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Bulgaria’s environment minister Neno Dimov ordered an investigation into the 2017 incident after someone drew his department’s attention to the Running Wild episode on Facebook.

The Rila national park is south-west Bulgaria is the country’s biggest protected area and includes the Rila mountain range and a series of glacial lakes.

Grylls’ own production company Bear Grylls Ventures (BGV), the co-producer of Running Wild, has been approached for comment.

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