Rajinikanth returns after shooting for Man Vs Wild, refuses injury reports

Superstar Rajinikanth, who visited Karnataka’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve to shoot an episode for Discovery channel’s popular programme Man vs Wild with host Bear Grylls, returned to Chennai late on Tuesday night.

Talking to journalists at Chennai airport, he rubbished reports which claimed that he was injured during the show and had to cut short the shoot.

“The shoot was completely completed. So I have returned. There were no injuries. A few thorns just pierced me. That’s it,” he said with a smile. Bandipur Tiger Reserve, an 874 sq km national park, was formed by integrating most of the forest areas of erstwhile Venugopala Wildlife Park established in 1941, and later enlarged to its current state in Chamarajanagar district, about 220 km southwest of Bengaluru.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen in a never-seen-before avatar with Bear Grylls on his show Man vs Wild on Discovery Channel. The special episode was shot in India’s Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.

The tiger reserve lists 28 species of mammals to be present in the forest, including royal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, common leopard, bonnet macaque, Indian pipestrelle and barking deer, among others.

Bandipur Deputy Conservator of Forests Balachander said the actor-politician was able to finish the shoot unhindered. The shooting was scheduled for six hours on Tuesday and is likely to be continued on Thursday, when Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar is expected to appear.

Experts have raised concerns about increased filming of such shows and documentaries, but an environment official claimed that the show was being filmed under special forest protection.