Rajinikanth poses with Bear Grylls in Bandipur, Man Vs Wild host shares new picture
Actor Rajinikanth on Tuesday shot for the new episode of Discovery Channel’s Man Vs Wild with host Bear Grylls. The latter posted a picture with Rajinikanth on Wednesday.
Sharing the picture, he wrote: “After our episode with Prime Minister @NarendraModi of India helped create a bit of TV history, (3.6 billion impressions), Bollywood superstar @Rajinikanth joins me next, as he makes his TV debut on our new show #IntoTheWildWithBearGrylls on @DiscoveryIN. #ThalaivaOnDiscovery.” The picture shows Rajinikanth and Bear standing together, with arms around each other.
It was later reported that Rajinikanth had got injured during the shoot at the Bandipur National Park, a tiger reserve in Karnataka. However, an IANS report said that while the actor suffered a few scratches, he wasn’t injured as such. Quoting T Balachandra, the reserve’s director and conservator of forests, on Tuesday, it said, “It is all false. As per the screenplay, there was a shot in which Rajinikanth had to fall, so while getting down from the rope, he just fell down and everybody rushed. It was all in the screenplay.” Later, Rajnikanth got up, completed the shoot and left for Chennai, Balachandra added.
“He was fine. That shot was from the Mysuru airport,” Balachandra said, referring to a video which went viral, showing Rajinikanth walking to the airport in Mysuru.
“We gave permission for 6-8 hours to Discovery Channel to shoot in Bandipur Tiger Reserve,” said Balachandra.
He said the one-day shoot began at 11 am on Tuesday and ended by 4 pm. “They paid as per the norms. Per day they have to pay documentary fee, vehicle fee and others. For four days, they paid Rs 10 lakh,” Balachandra said. Balachandra added that Rajinikanth spent five hours in the forest and will not return as his shoot was only for one day.
Bandipur Tiger Reserve, an 874 sq km national park, was formed by integrating most of the forest areas of erstwhile Venugopala Wildlife Park established in 1941, and later enlarged to its current state in Chamarajanagar district, about 220 km southwest of Bengaluru. The tiger reserve lists 28 species of mammals to be present in the forest, including royal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, common leopard, bonnet macaque, Indian pipestrelle and barking deer, among others.
However, according to a report in Mint, wildlife experts protested against the shoot, as it took place in an ecologically sensitive zone. The report said that Rajinikanth and team were shooting in Kalkere and Moolehole sections of the national park. They said not only does it endanger animals, but also raised fears of igniting forest fires given the prevailing dry conditions.
Joseph Hoover, a Bengaluru-based wildlife activist was on Tuesday quoted in the report, as saying, “They could have filmed in the monsoons as fires can start and spread very quickly during the summer months.”
Meanwhile, the state’s chief wildlife warden Sanjay Mohan said that this was not the first time a Discovery Channel documentary was shot in the reserve. “Lot of documentaries were shot in Bandipur. I have urged Discovery Channel that they must show the efforts being made by the Karnataka forest department day and night in saving the forest wildlife,” Mohan told IANS.
In August 2019, Grylls had hosted Prime Minister Modi in the show, which was shot at the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand in February last year.
(With IANS inputs)
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