An entry in Bear Grylls’s pioneering interactive franchise ‘You vs. Wild,’ ‘Animals on the Loose’ takes the renowned documentarian and survivalist to one of the wild sanctuaries in South Africa, where he has to help the rangers after it is discovered that the power supply to the fences around the sanctuary has been interrupted, leading to the escape of at least two animals: a lion, and a baboon named Thimba. Grylls initially has 3 major tasks: secure the lion in the north before it runs into the animal researcher who has been camping there, find the baboon in the south before it has a confrontation with the cheetah that has been roaming there, or fall over the jagged cliff, and fix the hydro-electric relay station in the east before the brewing storm hits.
As this is a piece of interactive entertainment, you, the audience, get to make every pivotal decision in Grylls’s journey for him. Each decision you take will positively or negatively impact Grylls’ journey, depending on what you choose. A 4th mission is later added when poachers are found to be responsible for the power outage. After you complete the first three missions, you have to locate and ensure the escaped elephants’ safety. The film depicts Grylls as his content always has: a hardcore but relatable survivalist who is willing to take you on an incredible journey. If you are wondering whether ‘Animals on the Loose’ is real or fake, here is what we have been able to find out.
Is Animals on the Loose Real or Fake?
To answer this question, we must look back into Grylls’ career. He rose to widespread fame through ‘Man vs. Wild,’ a Discovery Channel reality series that aired between 2006 and 2011. It revolutionized how survival shows are developed and made Grylls a household name. As it often happens, with bigger fame came more thorough scrutiny. Grylls and other producers received criticism for misleading their audience about the level of Grylls’ involvement in certain tasks. They were also criticized for overhyping specific tasks as too dangerous. The producers of ‘Man vs. Wild’ were eventually forced to bring significant changes to the show’s format.
While making ‘Animals on the Loose,’ Grylls worked with the same group of executive producers he did on ‘You vs. Wild,’ comprised of Delbert Shoopman, Rob Buchta, Chris Grant, Drew Buckley, Ben Silverman, and Howard Owens. So, we can safely assume that the rules that were set while filming ‘You vs. Wild’ were reused when the shooting for ‘Animals on the Loose’ started. As there is a set of objectives in place, Grylls’ journey takes place inside a sandbox by default.
However, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have to enact all the options available each time and suffer the consequences for the wrong ones. For instance, the rope likely did snap when he tied it around the rocks and climbed down into the gorge, hurting himself.
Some scenes were most probably filmed in a heavily controlled environment, especially those involving the lions and the boa. According to Buchta, while filming scenes involving animals for ‘You vs. Wild,’ somethings just happened naturally, while for others, they had to get actively involved. The same rule was likely followed here.
Ultimately, ‘Animals on the Loose’ seems to have a loose script, but many of the dangers that Grylls encounters throughout the journey are very real. Moreover, some situations have been exaggerated for dramatic effects.
Read More: Animals on the Loose’s Best Route, Explained