July 14, 2005 -- TWO environmental groups are accusing MTV of trashing a tropical beach where rare sea turtles lay their eggs.
TV crews descended on the small Caribbean nation of Tobago in May to film "The Gauntlet" — a brutal competition between previous casts of "The Real World" and "Road Rules."
Part of the show was filmed on Turtle Beach, where endangered leatherback sea turtles nest.
Two groups, the Sea Turtle Restoration Project and SOS Tobago, say film crews wrecked the beach at a critical time of year when the turtles lay their eggs — destroying about 400 eggs in the process.
"Heavy equipment, the presence of about 90 film crew [workers], and the removal of sand blocked numerous turtles from nesting and destroyed an estimated eight nests," STRP officials said in a statement.
Bunim-Murray, which produces "The Gauntlet," disputed the claim in a statement posted on its Web site.
"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," its statement reads.
"Any claim to the contrary is false." — Post TV Staff