Fury at TV's bear burger | Viva!

Fury at TV's bear burger

Wildlife photographer accused of gross hypocrisy for hit BBC show

Release date: 
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Animal lovers have reacted angrily to scenes on the hit BBC show 'The Bear Family and Me' which show wildlife photographer Gordon Buchanan eating a burger made of bear meat after saying he had fallen “in love with the animals. Leading animal group Viva! has accused Buchanan of gross hypocrisy and of potentially popularising the eating and hunting of the animal - and even of putting the lives of the animals he was filming at risk. The third and final episode of the series (broadcast on Wednesday, January 5) showed Buchanan visit the home of a bear shooter, where he ate a burger made of bear meat. He said it was “… one of the best burgers he had ever eaten. Prior to this he had described himself as a self-declared “bodyguard for the American black bear. He had become so enamoured by the animals that he introduced his wife and small children to them. Buchanan subsequently introduced the hunter to an adult and bear cub - Lily and Hope - who had built up trust for the photographer. Viva! says that this move could have put the animals in danger, as their location had now been revealed. Viva!'s campaigns manager, Justin Kerswell, says: “It boggles the mind that a man who has discovered that most bears are gentle, inquisitive animals that avoid conflict, and whose programme has won over the hearts of over 2 million viewers, would be so callous as to eat a burger made from their dead flesh. His actions are deeply irresponsible, as they could promote the eating of bear meat in the US and even in the UK, where there is a market for so-called 'exotic meats'. It is even more incredible that he would reveal the whereabouts of two of the series' stars to a bear hunter. At best that was naïve, at worst he just signed potentially their death warrant. ENDS For more information about this press release phone Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000 or email justin@viva.org.uk. The episode in question can be viewed for a limited time at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00x9zhc/The_Bear_Family_and_Me_Aut... (Buchanan eats bear meat at 24.50)

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

In an open letter to Bill Gates, Viva! asks Bill Gates to put his mouth where his money is and support going vegan for the planet.

Open letter to Bill Gates

I read, with some dismay, your blog Is There Enough Meat for Everyone? I see that this was written some time ago and hope that you have since changed your position to one more in keeping with current thinking.

Read more
Book Review - Kitten Rescue Tales

Book Review - Kitten Rescue Tales

Kitten Rescue Tales chronicles the real-life rescues of two pairs of abandoned kittens, Nimai and Syama in London and Ninja and Samura in the Spanish mountains of Las Alpujarras.

What Milk?

In the usual pre-Christmas race to bring out as many new and luxury products as possible, ASDA started selling camel milk. Apparently, suckling from camels is very festive. And if you’re not sure that’s such a good idea, camel milk comes with a host of health claims and is marketed as nothing

Porky Pies

Viva!Health have complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about a new TV advert from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) group ‘Love Pork’ that suggests that pork is a healthy food.

Viva! shows the REAL Halloween Horror outside Tesco!
Many of you have been following Viva!’s Hogwood campaign, in which we expose the appalling conditions found on an intensive pig farm in Warwickshire...


Jobs at Viva! A rare chance to work for the charity you love! We need dedicated, talented souls to help...