British producer Jason Roberts is facing a large fine over allegations animals were disturbed during the making of his Bbc polar bear documentary.
The Polar Bear Family and Me, which was fronted by wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan, aired in the U.K. in January (13), and now Norwegian officials in Svalbard have accused Roberts and his crew of breaking the province's environmental protection act while trying to obtain footage of the wild beasts.
Revealing he sent a warning letter to Roberts about a possible 50,000 kroner fine ($9,120/£5,700), governor Lars Erik Alfheim tells Bbc News, "It says in the letter that we have looked at the production by the Bbc and in some places there is footage that looks like they are disturbing the animals."
The incident is currently under investigation, and a network Tv spokesperson says, "We are aware of these concerns, but as they refer to ongoing discussions between the parties in Norway it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage."
Meanwhile, Roberts has denied the new claims in an interview with Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten - he is quoted as telling the publication, "I love them and have never bothered, disturbed or injured bears."