July 25, 2007 -- He was born to be wild -- but only after a hot shower and room service.
The Discovery Channel has issued a statement in response to an investigation into its popular series "Man vs. Wild," following allegations that the show's host, Bear Grylls, had a little help battling the wild: a motel.
"Discovery Communications has learned that isolated elements of the 'Man vs. Wild' show in some episodes were not natural to the environment, and that for health and safety concerns the crew and host received some survival assistance while in the field," the network stated.
The series' production company, Diverse Television, is cooperating with British television's Channel 4, which carries the program under a the name "Born Survivor: Bear Grylls."
Channel 4 confirmed that Grylls had spent the night indoors on at least two occasions when the series had led viewers to believe he was spending the night in the wild.
Sort of like a modern day Tarzan, Grylls is airlifted into the wild with only a few survival tools, such as a flint or water bottle. The reality show hunk, who has appeared on several talk shows to the screaming delight of women of all ages, served in the British Special Air Services. On the show, he reportedly survives for several days with no outside assistance.
Grylls has been filmed stranded in the deadly swamps of the Florida Everglades, paragliding onto the edge of the Andes to follow rivers into the Ecuadorean jungle and demonstrating how to make a snow cave, find water in deep tunnels and avoid frostbite in Iceland's arctic environment.
But if there's a warm bed waiting nearby, just how impressive are these stunts?
Among the Grylls grievances is an episode supposedly set on a deserted island (actually Hawaii) that shows him building a raft, which was actually constructed and then disassembled by show consultants so that the host could easily put it together.
And though Grylls claims to be a horse wrangler, another charge maintains that the wild horses Grylls happened upon in the Sierra Nevada were not so wild, and were in fact from a trekking station.
The Discovery Channel gave no indication it was ditching the show entirely. Instead, the show will be tweaked.
"Moving forward, the program will be 100 percent transparent, and all elements of the filming will be explained upfront to our viewers," Discovery said in its statement. "In addition, shows that are to be repeated will be edited appropriately. Bear Grylls is a world-class adventurer and a terrific talent."
No word on what "transparent" means or how fans of the series will react, but perhaps Discovery should add a disclaimer to the show: Survival made possible by hotel stay and dramatization of events.