04/16/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Australian authorities are looking into whether or not contestants on CBS's top-rated "Survivor: The Australia Outback" illegally removed coral from the ecologically sensitive -- and government-protected -- Great Barrier Reef, as it appeared in scenes that ran on last week's broadcast, reports Reuters. "We'll prosecute in the normal way if they've broken the law," Gregor Manson, director of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, told the news service on Tuesday. In last Thursday's episode, contestants Colby Donaldson and Jerri Manthey (who was ultimately voted off the show at the end of the episode) were flown to the reef; Donaldson returned with pieces of coral as souvenirs for other cast members. It is illegal to remove coral from the reef without a permit. Penalties include fines of up to $52,800. This is not the first time the show has raised the ire of some viewers this season. "Survivor" outraged animal rights activists in February, when a cast member slaughtered a wild pig before the camera.