A fake reality show? Shut your mouth!
Mother Jones has an in-depth piece about how the show is completely manufactured, which isn't shocking. But what is shocking and sad are the allegations that animals are harmed, and sometimes killed, during the filming.
Production sources told me that the zebra seemed woozy during filming; it could barely walk. Animal Planet and Sharp obtained the zebra from the Franklin Drive Thru Safari, an animal park run by a businessman named Jason Clay. In a phone interview, Clay confirmed that he supplied the zebra, but denied using sedatives. Clay is licensed under the federal regulations for animal exhibitors, which specify that "drugs, such as tranquilizers, shall not be used to facilitate, allow, or provide for public handling of the animals," and that handling of animals should not cause trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm, or unnecessary discomfort.
Despite Clay's denial, Animal Planet and Sharp confirmed to Mother Jones that the zebra was drugged before filming, but they say it happened behind their backs. However, Jamie and other sources say that the crew was aware of the zebra's sedation during filming, especially since the animal nearly fell over several times. "I heard about the zebra being almost unusable," says another source.
Was that a little tl;dr for you? The short of it is that a zebra was drugged for the filming, which is a huge no-no. It's breaks the terms of the owner's federal license and it's a huge d*ck move.
Oh, and there was once a raccoon killed for the sake of filming.
By the time three orphaned raccoons arrived for emergency care at the Kentucky Wildlife Center in April 2012, "they were emaciated," says Karen Bailey, who runs the nonprofit rehab clinic set in the sunny thoroughbred country just outside of Georgetown, in central Kentucky. "They were almost dead."
...These weren't just any raccoons. They were the stars of one of the highest-rating episodes of Call of the Wildman, the hit Animal Planet reality TV show.
When cubs are in such bad shape, Bailey says, "It's a race against time." The animals were incubated and intubated, fed fluids and antibiotics. As a last-ditch effort, Bailey administered blood plasma and managed to save two of the raccoons—"a miracle."
That ish is not cute, Turtleman. Check out the video below for more info, including details about bats used for filming in a Houston salon.
What I Do, Job-wise: So. Much. Other than playing on-air every day (and on DO YOU HATE IT? Sunday nights), you might get an e-mail response from me if you write in asking to know the name of a song or whether we're looking for interns. I'm all over the place, like a ninja, but less stealthy.