Animal activist group PETA has slammed Channel 4 show Bear Grylls’ Celebrity Island after it emerged that a pig chokes itself to death on a forthcoming episode.
In what’s said to be ‘shocking footage’, the celebrity contestants ‘take in’ the pig, but after it starts to cause havoc in the camp, decide instead to tie it to a tree.
However, in its efforts to escape, it strangles itself.
Among those featuring on this series are Martin Kemp, Eric Roberts, Jo Wood, Roxanne Pallett and TOWIE star Pete Wicks, who reportedly ‘begs’ his co-stars not to kill the creature.
A source told The Sun: “Pete is a real animal lover so told others in the camp he didn’t [want] them to kill the pig.
“But it began making a mess in camp, going to the toilet everywhere, so they decided to tie it up so it couldn’t.
“Somehow it managed to get all worked up, and in a tragic accident it hung itself. Pete particularly was devastated.”
In a statement, PETA accuses Bear Grylls of previously ‘torturing living beings to boost ratings’ on series of the show, which maroons people on a desert island with only basic equipment to survive.
“It’s time to move beyond this worn-out trope of showing crude dominance over nature – and we urge producers to scrap the use of animals in these stupid TV stunts and replace them with challenges that don’t involve bullying or purposely putting animals in harm’s way,” it added.
In reaction to the criticism, Channel 4 said: “The celebrities were greatly affected by what happened and footage will be shown in the programme next Sunday in order to give a faithful account of their time on the island.”
It’s not the first time that the show has been slated for killing animals.
In the 2016 series, Made In Chelsea star Ollie Locke caught and sat on a crocodile, before pushing a hunting knife into its head, upsetting viewers.
He later described it as ‘one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my entire life’.
The latest episode will air on Sunday night on Channel 4.