Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

S4C uses elephants for Y Syrcas film

Posted: 16 October 2013. Updated: 23 December 2013


When ADI heard that the Welsh TV channel S4C had used elephants in the making of the film “Y Syrcas”, we contacted them to express our dismay. The film, directed by Kevin Allen and starring Aneirin Hughes and Saran Morgan, will be broadcast on S4C on Boxing Day.

According to press reports, filming had taken place in Tregaron, Ceredigion, and involved two elephants called Citta and Sandra from Germany but little else was known about the animals and where they came from.

In our letter to S4C, we requested details of the supplier and trainer, information concerning their transportation to the UK and what measures had been put in place on set to safeguard the elephants’ welfare.

Although S4C provided some information concerning how the animals were cared for during filming, including that the elephants were filmed for 8 days with rest days in between, they did not provide, “for reasons of commercial confidentiality”, details of the animal supplier and trainer.

We have since learned that Citta and Sandra came from Elefantenhof Platschow and both were wild-caught in the 1980s. Elephants at the German attraction are used for circus performances and rides.

According to S4C, the elephants were “transported to Tregaron in a purpose-built vehicle” and housed in a “clearspan tent (15m x 15m) with an area approximately double that size outside the tent in which they could roam” however no mention was made as to whether the elephants were chained during their journey to the UK or overnight or at other times in the tent.

Despite their assurances that the “welfare of the animals was protected”, we are extremely disappointed that S4C has chosen to use wild animals in this way. ADI has a great deal of experience regarding how animals are really treated in the name of entertainment. Our investigations have time and again shown that, in the main, any discipline or abuse of the animals tends to occur off set and behind the scenes, where no-one will see it.

Although S4C may have been satisfied that the elephants did not suffer during the production of “Y Syrcas”, they cannot guarantee that the animals will not have suffered off-set.

For example, ADI has exposed the use of violence and electric shocks by Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT) in the US, who supplied the elephants which feature in the films Water for Elephants and Zookeeper. Both films received an American Humane Association “no animals were harmed” assurance despite the brutality to the animals that was witnessed during training. Watch footage of HTWT “training” their elephants here.

Take action!

  • The film set is no place for a wild animal – please boycott the movie and urge S4C to adopt a ‘no animals policy’ for future productions. Email them today at
  • Find out more about our campaign to end the use of animals in entertainment here

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