Rajinikanth to feature in ‘Man vs Wild’ with Bear Grylls

The episode is being shot at Bandipur Tiger Reserve

The episode is being shot at Bandipur Tiger Reserve  

Episode shot in Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka; wildlife activists question the timing of the shoot

A new episode of Man vs. Wild featuring multilingual star Rajinikanth with British adventurer and television presenter Bear Grylls was shot on Tuesday at Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

An earlier episode of the series featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was shot at the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarkhand last year.

T. Balachandra, Director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, said Rajinikanth arrived on Monday noon and much of the sequence involving him was completed on Tuesday after which he left Bandipur. Grylls reached Bandipur on Tuesday morning but details about his itinerary were not known, he added.

Mr. Balachandra said they had only permitted the use of cameras and a few equipment required for shooting wildlife documentary and there was no use of heavy vehicles carrying generator sets that normally tag along with film crew. He said most of the sequences was shot along the highway and a bridge while one sequence entailed crossing a waterbody using a coracle.

An agreement was signed between the Karnataka Forest Department represented by the Field Director of Bandipur and a Mumbai-based studio for shooting the documentary in December 2019.

According to sources, much of the sequences was shot at Moolehole, Maddur, and G.S. Betta Range and permission was given to film between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. only. Also, there was no permission to use electricity, explosives or any inflammable material, and flash lights, reflectors, sound, and generators which disturb wildlife.

Timing questioned

Conservationists and wildlife activists, however, have questioned the timing of the shooting as it is approaching summer and the Forest Department staff tend to be deployed on fire watch duties or for clearing ground vegetation to create firebreak. Bandipur has a history of forest fires that burn large swathe of the jungle. Last year, an estimated 10,000 hectares of the jungle was destroyed in the fire that broke out in February.

Sangay Gubbi, conservationist, said these kinds of shows take away focus from real conservation issues. “They are certainly not an educative tool. Our future generations need to see the beauty and the problems our wildlife faces, and not reality shows,” he added. He said this was not the right time for filming when the Forest Department was preparing for the summer months.

Mr. Balachandra, however, denied that the forest staff were disturbed or fire watch duty disrupted.

‘Not injured’

Returning after the shoot, Rajinikanth told presspersons at the Chennai airport that he was not injured during the shoot.

“There were some reports that I was injured. This is not true and I was just pricked by a few thorns,” the actor said.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 4:24:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/rajinikanth-to-feature-in-man-vs-wild-with-bear-grylls/article30672978.ece

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