Tai the elephant stars along with Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson in the movie “Water for Elephants,” released last month.
Elephants Electric Shocked And Beaten
But secret video footage released by Animal Defenders International (ADI) on May 9 shows Tai the elephant being electric shocked and beaten during training to make her perform tricks that she later went on to perform in the film.
We Are Talking About Real Suffering
Business Wire reports:
Filmed at animal supplier Have Trunk Will Travel in California who provided Tai, the video expose demolishes claims about the long term training of this elephant and others.
Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International: “The film is fiction but we are talking about real suffering. It is time for the movie industry to take a long, hard look at how animals are used in the name of entertainment.”
the biggest star of the film is 42-year-old Asian elephant Tai, who plays Rosie, supplied by Have Trunk Will Travel.
In the film Rosie, played by Tai, is brutally attacked by the circus owner who beats her with a bull hook. But the producers, stars, and trainers have been at pains to stress that Tai was trained with kindness, marshmallows, and positive reinforcement.
Gary Johnson, a founder of Have Trunk Will Travel, claimed: “Tai was never hit in any way at all.”
American Humane observed the animal action during filming and said: “We’re here observing prep on Water for Elephants and so we’re here to make sure that everybody knows that not only the action on set but also the prep is humanely done, all these animals have been treated fairly and humanely throughout the entire course of their training.”
Neither Calls Nor E-Mails Returned
The Daily Mail reveals that the film of the abuse is believed to have been taken in 2005 at the Have Trunk Will Travel complex, which would explain the comments by the American Humane Society.
But when MailOnline tried to contact Gary and Kari Johnson, the owners of Have Trunk Will Travel, neither calls nor e-mails were returned. 20th Century Fox, who make the film, similarly did not reply to a request for comment.
Whenever I see movies with animals, I find myself wondering about the training methods. Was there really no cruelty involved?
Human Actors Get Millions; Elephants Get Electrocuted
And let’s see – the human actors get paid millions of dollars, while the elephants get electrocuted?
TAKE ACTION: Please click here to sign our petition to Have Trunk Will Travel to demand that they outlaw animal abuse in future.
And check out the video from Animal Defenders International and see what you think:
Photo credit: DrBartje via Creative Commons