Tamil superstar Rajinikanth suffered no injuries during the shoot of Discovery Channel's popular programme 'Man vs Wild' in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, an official said on Tuesday. "It is all false. As per the screenplay, there was a shot in which Rajinikanth had to fall, so while getting down from the rope, he just fell down and everybody rushed. It was all in the screenplay," T. Balachandra, the reserve's director and conservator of forests, told IANS.
Later, Rajnikanth got up, completed the shoot and left for Chennai, said Balachandra. According to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve director, the Tamil superstar was fine and did not suffer any injury. "He was fine. That shot was from the Mysuru airport," Balachandra said, referring to a video which went viral, showing Rajinikanth walking to the airport in Mysuru.
Balachandra dismissed the news of Rajinikanth's injury as fake news.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rajinikanth visited Karnataka's Bandipur Tiger Reserve to shoot an episode of 'Man vs Wild' with host Bear Grylls.
"We gave permission for 6-8 hours to Discovery Channel to shoot in Bandipur Tiger Reserve," said Balachandra.
He said the one-day shoot began at 11 a.m. on Tuesday and ended by 4 p.m.
"They paid as per the norms. Per day they have to pay documentary fee, vehicle fee and others. For four days, they paid Rs 10 lakh," Balachandra said.
Balachandra said Rajinikanth spent five hours in the forest and will not return as his shoot was only for one day.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, the state's chief wildlife warden Sanjay Mohan said that this was not the first time a Discovery Channel documentary was shot in the reserve.
"Lot of documentaries were shot in Bandipur. I have urged Discovery Channel that they must show the efforts being made by the Karnataka forest department day and night in saving the forest wildlife," Mohan told IANS.
The chief wildlife warden is looking forward to a good name for the tiger reserve and recognition to the forest staff with this programme.
In August 2019, Grylls had hosted Prime Minister Modi in the show, which was shot at the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand in February last year.
In 'Man vs Wild', former British serviceman Grylls showcases survival strategies in extreme challenging conditions in the most remote locations around the world.
However, Discovery Channel's India spokesperson Krapika Singh Jat told IANS that the channel had nothing to say when asked about Rajinikanth shooting for Man vs Wild with Grylls in Bandipur Tiger Reserve.