CHRIS Packham has backed a police investigation into I am A Superstar over fears critters have escaped into the Welsh countryside – and begged Ant and Dec to cease animal abuse on the present.
Packham, 59, who fronts BBC nature show Autumnwatch, mentioned if bugs escape the ITV present’s Bushtucker Trials “they might trigger extreme issues”.
Chris Packham provides to warnings of menace to Welsh countryside if non-native species escape I am A Celeb’s Gwrych fortCredit score: Solent Information
He instructed The Guardian: “If any of those species have been to naturalise, we might have extreme issues. And we do have a historical past on this nation of invasive species which have prompted monumental ecological injury.”
The animal activist – who usually speaks out towards I am A Celeb and has petitioned Ant and Dec to cease utilizing stay animals yearly since 2000 – added: “We don’t want very talked-about tv programmes demonising, stereotyping and abusing animals that are key parts to any ecosystem.”
There have been rising calls to ban the usage of stay animals and bugs on the ITV show.
Within the 2015 sequence, Towie’s Ferne McCann ate a stay water spider, prompting 1,500 complaints to TV watchdog Ofcom.
Jessica Plummer was lined in cockroaches within the Imply Therapeutic massage trial final evening Credit score: Rex Options
The next 12 months some viewers vented their anger when Scarlett Moffatt scoffed a stay beetle.
The usage of stay critters within the present’s notorious consuming trials was lastly scrapped final 12 months after heavy campaigning from animal charities and wildlife consultants together with Packham.
The recent criticism over the chance that cockroaches, maggots, spiders and worms might have escaped is now being investigated by rural crime officers from north Wales police.
The non-native critters might trigger irreversible injury to the wildlife within the 250 acre property surrounding the fort the place the present is being held this 12 months.
Shane Richie struggles to win stars as spiders crawl round his headCredit score: ITV
It’s only a stone’s throw from Coed y Gopa – protected as a Web site of Particular Scientific Curiosity.
Usually the ITV present is filmed in Australia however the crew – and their critters – have been pressured to relocate to Wales by the coronavirus pandemic.
Police are now investigating after complaints made by the TV presenter and naturalist Iolo Williams.
“I’m unsure which species they’re releasing, however I can let you know they’re not native,” Iolo, 58, mentioned.
“We don’t have these cockroaches right here within the UK and we definitely don’t have them in north Wales.”
Iolo insisted that althought the Bushtucker Trials happen in a contained atmosphere, contestants carry bugs again to camp with them.
“There are going to be cockroaches in each nook and cranny alongside their our bodies, you’re going to inform me that each single a type of is discovered instantly? In fact it’s not,” he added.
A spokesperson for ITV mentioned: “They’re solely ever launched in a contained space and picked up instantly after filming.”