Watch out, “Alaska: The Last Frontier,” PETA has you in its crosshairs.
The animal rights organization has taken aim at the Discovery Channel reality series, following reports that series star Atz Lee Kilcher and others from the series have been charged with illegally hunting a bear with the aid of a helicopter.
Drawing a parallel between Kilcher and Cecil the Lion killer, Walter Palmer, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) senior vice president Lisa Lange branded the reality TV star a “coward” if the charges turn out to be true.
“If reports are true, Atz Lee Kilcher’s cruelty brands him a coward, out of touch at a time when an enlightened society has turned against animal killers like the Walter Palmers of this world,” Lange said. “Whether it’s an unsuspecting bear shot in his home or a lion gunned down and beheaded, hunting is a loser’s pastime, and it needs to be retired to the annals of history.”
Lange concluded, “Shame on the Discovery Channel.”
According to Alaska Dispatch News, Kilcher and his wife Cristina Jane Kilcher, referred to as Jane on the series, have each been hit with a misdemeanor charge of unlawful methods of taking or attempting to take big game by helicopter. The show’s production company, Wilma TV Inc., has also been charged.
The charge stems from a 2014 black bear hunt, during which a helicopter was allegedly used. Alaska law prohibits “knowingly, or with reason to know, with the use of a helicopter in any manner, including transportation to, or from, the field of any unprocessed game or parts of game, any hunter or hunting gear, or any equipment used in the pursuit or retrieval of game,” with the exceptions of emergency rescues and life-threatening situations.
A spokeswoman for Discovery had no comment for TheWrap.
“Alaska: The Last Frontier” documents the Kilchers — who are relatives of the singer Jewel — at their homestead near Homer, Alaska, as they live without plumbing or modern heating, depending on hunting for subsistence.
The series wrapped its fourth season in March.