One of Animal Planet's hit shows, "Call of the Wildman," is under scrutiny this morning for alleged animal abuses.
The show centers around a Kentucky wildlife rescuer called "Turtleman" who bills his business as catching "nuisance" animals and releasing them back into the wild, giving them a "second chance."
But, according to a "Mother Jones" investigation, that "second chance" may come with a price.
Some of the numerous allegations include: a zebra being sedated on set, entire scenes being "faked" or staged, and producers procuring animals from farms or trappers, strictly so "Turtleman" could pretend to rescue them.
The investigation has prompted ethical issues tied to show and Animal Planet released a statement to "New Day," saying in part:
"The life and welfare of all animals is of paramount importance to Animal Planet. It is core to our ethos that every animal's life has value... The notion that there is a culture of "neglect" at the only network that is devoted to celebrating and protecting animals is absurd. Claims in the "Mother Jones" article were brought to the production company's attention nearly nine months ago. Where appropriate, Sharp Entertainment promptly instituted changes to further ensure the welfare of animals while filming the series. We are proud that our productions, including "Call of the Wildman," have provided countless animals with a second lease on life."
See the full discussion above between James West, who wrote this investigative piece, and Dan Adler, Senior Vice President of Sharp Entertainment, the production company in charge of "Call of the Wildman."