TV is a wildlife lover's Garden of Eden. Networks like Animal Planet, Discovery, National Geographic, NAT GEO Wild and PBS fill their schedules with documentaries and critter reality programs. These shows promise a real glimpse into the behavior of wild animals. But just how authentic are they?
"There's a degree of audience deception that goes on," says veteran wildlife producer Chris Palmer, whose recent book, Shooting in the Wild, reveals some of the trickery.
Really, who hasn't dreamed of keeping a pet tiger in their apartment? The difference, however, is that the folks profiled in Animal Planet's hit series make it a reality — often with tragic consequences. It's not called Fatal Attractions for nothing (Friday, 9/8c, Animal Planet). We asked Dave Salmoni, the network's large-predator expert, what motivates people to bring the wild things where they are. ...