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Environmentalists claim MTV's 'Gauntlet 2' destroyed rare turtle nests

UPI News Service, 07/14/2005 

Two environmental groups claim the crew of MTV's upcoming "The Gauntlet 2" reality competition trashed a Tobago beach used for nesting by rare sea turtles.

Part of the competition between the casts of "The Real World" and "Road Rules" that filmed in the small Caribbean nation of Tobago took place on Turtle Beach, where endangered leatherback sea turtles lay their eggs, the New York Post reported Thursday.

The Sea Turtle Restoration Project and SOS Tobago issued a release saying MTV film crews destroyed about 400 eggs.   "Heavy equipment, the presence of about 90 film crew, and the removal of sand blocked numerous turtles from nesting and destroyed an estimated eight nests," the groups stated.  The groups also allege that "numerous other eggs are now buried beneath densely compacted sand without any hope for escape for the hatchlings."

"The Gauntlet" producers Bunim-Murray Productions disputed the groups' claim.

"Bunim-Murray Productions worked closely with all relevant environmental and governmental agencies in Tobago ... to ensure that all production-related activities were ecologically sound and respectful of Tobago's natural resources," it said in a statement on its Web site. "Any claim to the contrary is false."

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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