Czech hunters fear TV bedtime story puts hunters in bad light

Madla and Tap, photo: Ceska televize

Czech TV is currently airing a series by the renowned documentary maker Vaclav Chaloupek that tells the story of a little lynx called Tap. It is being shown in the popular children's bedtime programme Vecernicek and last week featured a hunter firing at Tap and his little companion. This has angered the Czech Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Association. They say the series puts hunters in a bad light and does not mention that a large part of their work is feeding animals and looking after the country's wildlife. I spoke to the association's secretary-general Jaroslav Kostecka:

"Children possibly think that every hunter is a bad man. This man in the story shoots a bloodhound and a lynx and that is impossible in reality. It's a problem for us. In the countryside the view of hunters and our association is very good because we created that typical countryside culture. The problem is with the people who live in big cities sometimes. They are of a different opinion but they know nothing about life in the nature. They only know it from their TVs or their car windows. I think the reality is very different."

So could you explain to us what a hunter does here?

"In western Europe, hunting is a sport. That's a problem for us because it is not a sport for us. We are very active in the nature. In the Czech Republic every hunter is a game manager. That is why we have a problem with the bedtime story because this part of the story says that every man with a green coat and a hat is a killer."

The media has been saying that your association wants Czech TV to discontinue this bedtime story...

"We hope that this bedtime story will continue but I hope that this part of the story will be changed so that the man is not portrayed as a hunter but as a poacher."

So why don't you create your own bedtime story that is about the hunter and the game manager?

"The author of this bedtime story is also a member of our association. I think he is a very good game manager and hunter and this week we will meet in our offices and will prepare a press release that we want to continue with these stories and with our cooperation."