Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International


Posted: 30 June 2011. Updated: 27 July 2011

Next movie for the elephants filmed being electric shocked during training is “Zookeeper” with Kevin James – premiering in the US next week

LOS ANGELES,June 30, 2011 - An elephant exposed by Animal Defenders International (ADI) being trained by the use of violent methods including bull hooks and electric shock devices at California based ‘Have Trunk Will Travel’, will be appearing in ‘Zookeeper’, premiering in Hollywood on July 6, 2011 and opening in theaters nationwide in the US on July 8, 2011.

Rosie, the elephant concerned appears in ADI’s footage, and you can watch the condemning video of the elephant’s suffering here:

ADI is calling on members of the public to boycott the film and write to the film’s distributors, Sony Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and its stars, to say that it is time for Hollywood to help stamp out animal suffering, once and for all. Performing animals have no place in films and TV commercials as they are trained through pain and fear of further punishment, rather than a natural willingness to obey.

Jan Creamer, President of ADI said: “When the elephants cried out as they were electric shocked in our undercover video, it was a long way from the glitzy premieres and movie theatres. These poor elephants were trained by being given electric shocks and animal suffering is never romantic and it is never entertainment.

“People need to think very carefully before they go and see films with performing animals, especially wild animals like elephants. Our message is that if you care about animals, then don’t go to see films where performing animals appear.”

Have Trunk Will Travel provided elephants for films and advertisements.

Appearances have included Water for Elephants, Evan Almighty, Jungle Book, Ace Ventura When Nature Calls, The Britney Spears Music Video “Circus”, and American Express commercial with Ellen Degeneres.

Earlier this week (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 Tai, who played Rosie in the film ‘Water for Elephants’. The suit is based on erroneous assurances that the defendants gave the public that she was trained with kindness for her role.

The suffering at Have Trunk Will Travel is receiving universal condemnation around the world from veterinarians, elephant experts, zoo industry insiders, and the public.

Tim Phillips, Vice President of Animal Defenders International said: “When these animals arrive on set, trained up and ready to perform on command, I think the actors and the movie makers want to believe they are trained by love and kindness. We have now proved otherwise by showing to the world the reality of these animals training from inside Have Trunk Will Travel.

“It’s time to stamp out the suffering. Producers need to start by asking whether their film really needs the lifetime sacrifice paid by a living animal. Then they need to work out whether they can genuinely assure audiences of humane treatment.”

Since Have Trunk Will Travel hires out 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.

‘Zookeeper’ is a film with Kevin James with the voices of Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone and Cher opening July 8. Watch the trailer here:

ADI’s Mission:
To educate, create awareness, and promote the interest of humanity in the cause of justice, and the suppression of all forms of cruelty to animals wherever possible to alleviate suffering, and to conserve and protect animals and the environment.


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