Water For Elephants trainers accused of animal abuse
Wed, 11 May 2011 6:23a.m.
By 3news.co.nz staff
In a sad case of art imitating life, a Hollywood blockbuster has been hit by allegations of animal cruelty.
Water For Elephants tells the story of an abused circus animal, but video has been released which seems to shows animals – including 45-year-old Asian elephant Thai - being used in the film being stunned and hit with metal hooks, The Guardian reported.
Animal Defenders International (ADI) claims Thai is the elephant that appears to cry out while performing a headstand in the video.
The video was allegedly shot in 2005.
Water For Elephants, which stars Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz, is a romantic drama about a circus vet set in the depression era. It contains fictional scenes of animal cruelty and shows animals performing various tricks.
"We were uncomfortable with the message of this film, but the more we saw the repeated assertions that this elephant has been treated with love and affection and never been abused, we realised that we had to get the truth out. The public, the stars and the film-makers have been duped,” ADI chief executive Jan Creamer told The Guardian.
“This poor elephant was trained to do the very tricks you see in the film by being given electric shocks."
But Gary and Kari Johnson of Have Trunk Will Travel told the newspaper they are “unwavering” in their commitment to elephants.
“We stand by our care and training methods. We are proud of our contributions to elephant welfare and conservation.”
The pair accuse “animal rights extremist groups” of using Thai’s role in Water For Elephants as a vehicle to “take advantage of her celebrity to further their efforts to remove elephants and all exotic animals from entertainment”.
“These groups have no basis of knowledge or experience working with elephants.”
They say none of the footage was taken during Thai’s training for the movie.
Warning: The video contains images of alleged animal abuse
Watch the video for the full report
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
4/10/2011 6:26:56 a.m.
this is so sad that the elepants were beaten to achieve when they would do the tricks with just a few treats and some love and compassion
16/05/2011 3:48:46 p.m.
What we need is more toilet stops on main highways with a sign well before advertising the fact. We noticed that in Oz they have long drops about every 50kms. The signs tell how far to the next one.
13/05/2011 12:00:53 p.m.
WHO CARES WHAT the company says, HOW do you think humans can get a huge elephant to do stupid tricks for our pleasure....this is horrifying!!!!
I am outraged once again at our acceptance of cruelty to animals for entertainment...of any kind
13/05/2011 12:04:50 a.m.
As a few other people say, it's pretty ridiculous to make the comment that the film makers aren't responsible for the abuse and therefore that makes it ok.
If they were really concerned about the well beings of the animals they would have researched further in to the background of the trainers who they employed (and who were therefore part of the production of the film). These videos existed when the film went in to production, so if they had researched the trainer adequately, would the film company not have found them?
12/05/2011 2:05:16 p.m.
SIX YEARS that video was held onto, NO harm came too any animals ON SET. SIX years and now its released??? I find them also accountable for having this info for this long and doing nothing too bring awareness back then. Let a lone SIX years later.
12/05/2011 2:01:31 p.m.
maybe it didnt happen on the set, but it did happen... the video shows trainers abusing the elephants even the baby with the poker they use, that was horrible, so evil, and they call themselves trainers???
12/05/2011 9:31:15 a.m.
Boycott this movie!!!! Just as you should boycott every circus which abuses wild animals.
11/05/2011 8:50:14 p.m.
Well said Sam..I do not like the video showing abuse..but as Sam stated the Water for Elephants production is not responsible for this video. Check out this link to see production supervision.http://www.americanhumanefilmtv.org/water-for-elephants/
11/05/2011 5:52:49 p.m.
Sooo mmmmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaddddd!!!!! What gives man in general, the right to think he's any better than any other living being on this planet!!
11/05/2011 5:46:23 p.m.
If you saw the video they cought trainers smacking a baby elephant on the head when they thought no one was looking. Weather or not they abuse the elephants on set does not mater 20th Centruy should not use trainers that abuse their animals at all it's bad buisness and they should not give money to these animal abusers. <aybe they should do some research before they hire a company.
Angelina Jolie has undergone a preventative double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer.
After finishing his latest film, The Lords of Salem, Rob Zombie turned back into a musician and began working on his latest album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor.
The latest 'Disney on Ice' show will be in the capital for the next five days before heading to Christchurch and Auckland.
Warner Bros have released a trailer revealing Batgirl, the next DLC character that will be available for Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Launch trailer for Metro: Last Light, the post-apocalyptic sequel to Metro 2033.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.