BBC Documentary film-maker could be sued by Norway for 'disturbing polar bears'

Film crew with polar bearBBC/Screen capture

"The Polar Bear Family and Me"

Jason Roberts, a documentary film-maker, could be sued for £5,700 by Norwegian officials for 'disturbing polar bears' during the shoot of a recent BBC documentary. Mr. Roberts filmed parts of the documentary from a clear plastic cage (which he called the Ice Cube), and at one point a bear attacked the box, which is what is the alleged infraction.

I agree that there should be regulations about not disturbing animals - especially endangered ones - and that they should be enforced. I don't know all the details of how this happened and what Mr. Roberts' intentions were, though I'd bet they were pure (he replied to the accusations: "I love them and have never bothered, disturbed or injured bears."). Anyone who loves polar bears enough to go to the Arctic for months probably isn't hoping to cause any harm. Documentary film-makers do extremely important work to help most of us reconnect with nature and discover corners of the world that we might never see in person, and this helps tremendously in raising awareness and protecting these threatened ecosystems. I think the burden of proof is on the Norwegian authorities.

Chances are that this controversy will just be great publicity for the film, which is called The Polar Bear Family and Me. Here's some footage that shows the Ice Cube:


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