In Depth

Bear Grylls in hot water over killing and boiling frog in Bulgaria

Bulgarian officials considering fining adventurer over TV show which broke rules for protected areas

Officials from Bulgaria’s environment ministry are considering whether to fine British adventurer Bear Grylls over an episode of his Running Wild TV series in which he killed a frog and boiled it on a camping stove.

In the episode filmed in Bulgaria’s Rila mountains in 2017, Grylls and US Latin and ballroom dancer Derek Hough “were shown killing, gutting and cooking the frog before swimming across a lake”, reports The Guardian.

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.

“It is evident from the film material that during the shooting there were breaches to the regulations and rules of conduct in protected areas: entering and swimming in the water basin of the Karakashevo lake, lighting a fire, and catching and killing an animal,” the environment ministry said in a statement.

The series’ production company faces a possible fine of between €500 and €5,000 (£435-£4,350) while Grylls and Hough could receive fines of between €250 and €2,500 euros, according to the Bulgarian news agency BTA.

The Rila national park in southwestern Bulgaria is the country’s largest and includes the Rila mountain range and a series of glacial lakes.

Grylls served with the British armed forces’ elite Special Air Service (SAS) before “finding fame with a string of adventure TV shows in the UK and the US in which he demonstrates survival techniques in inhospitable climates”, says The Daily Telegraph.

In 2016 the presenter “was condemned by animal charities after contestants on The Island with Bear Grylls killed and ate a crocodile”, adds The Independent. Grylls also faced criticism from Sir David Attenborough 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 told The Sun.

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