19 Jul 2005

Endangered birds killed in New Caledonia during tv reality show

12:28 pm on 19 July 2005

Nature protection groups in New Caledonia are angry that an endangered bird species was attacked in a French reality television survival series.

Contestants on the show, Koh Lanta, were abandoned with minimal food and other essential supplies on an uninhabited island off the Isle of Pines where they try and survive on the island's natural resources.

The first episode, which has just been screened, showed a contestant slaughtering the endangered local puffin birds with a bush knife.

It's a marine bird which nests on the ground, making it easy prey for the contestants.

Members of the Southern Province, which helped finance the show in the hope it would attract more French tourists to New Caledonia, say they weren't aware of the events on the island because of the secrecy surrounding the filming.

The Southern Province now says it will seek financial assistance from the TV company to help finance a public information campaign for the protection of marine birds.