A reality show spearheaded by celebrity adventurer Bear Grylls has been lambasted for allowing starving contestants to hunt and kill an endangered animal.
Male competitors from the Channel 4 series The Island had gone without food for two weeks when they killed what producers thought was a common caiman.
But the animal’s larger size raised questions, leading to the realisation that it was in fact a critically endangered American crocodile illegal to kill.
The Island sees Grylls drop groups of people on isolated islands in the Pacific to test their survival skills.
Channel 4 claims it surveyed the remote island off Panama in central America prior to filming to ensure there were no endangered animals.
“This was a genuine and regrettable error,” a spokesperson from the network said.
“The relevant national environment agency are aware of the incident and have granted a licence to replace the animal which has now been done.”
This is not the first time the show has come under fire.
It was criticised when some contestants were found to have professional experience despite the show portraying them as “ordinary” and has also faced accusations of being fake, with producers “setting up” several scenes.
Grylls himself has not yet commented on the incident.
I’ve been enjoying The Island With Bear Grylls. But now I’m wondering why a crocodile had to die for TV entertainment. It’s hardly a fish. — Ian Hyland (@HylandIan) April 22, 2015