Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Have Trunk Will Travel defrauded the public over elephant star of Water for Elephants, says ADI

Posted: 28 June 2011. Updated: 16 April 2015


Yesterday, in the US District Court, Central District of California, Los Angeles, Animal Defenders International (ADI), together with members of the public, Gail Profant and Leslie Hemstreet, filed suit against Have Trunk Will Travel, as well as the owners Gary and Kari Johnson, over their claims about the training of the elephant Tai, who played Rosie in the film ‘Water for Elephants’.

The suit is based on erroneous assurances that the defendants gave the public that the elephant Tai was trained with kindness for her role in Water for Elephants.

Video footage released by Animal Defenders International (ADI) showed Tai and other elephants being electric shocked with a stun gun and jabbed and hit will bull hooks during her training for the same types of tricks seen in the movie, at the Perris, CA ranch of Have Trunk Will Travel.

Jan Creamer, President of ADI: “We believe the public were duped when claims were made all over the world about the humane treatment during training of the elephant Tai that appeared in the film Water for Elephants. From the statements made by Have Trunk Will Travel in the build up to this film we believe that they perpetrated a fraud.

“What is unclear at this stage is whether the film makers and actors were a party to that fraud or were duped themselves. We are still waiting to hear from them.”

Since Have Trunk Will Travel hires out Tai and other elephants for elephant rides, advertising and TV as well as movies, ADI is asking members of the public who have seen the Water for Elephants movie, or paid for an elephant ride, to get in touch with ADI’s LA office if they want to show support. ADI can be reached at (323) 935-2234.

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