Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI and PEACE criticise ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man’ film for using an abused circus elephant

Posted: 17 November 2014

Release date: 3 November 2014

Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Put an End to Animal Cruelty and Exploitation (PEACE) have condemned ‘The 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared’ for its use of an abused circus elephant. The film is directed by Felix Herngren and is released across Japan on November 8th.

The elephant used in ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man’ Vana Mana (also known as Wana Mana) previously featured in a shocking undercover exposé by ADI at the Great British Circus in the UK. Vana Mana and her companions Sonja and Delhi were beaten by both her trainer and groom and chained for long periods.

ADI’s horrifying footage prompted an outcry and the elephants and their trainer left the UK after just one season. Delhi, who was chronically lame, has since died. Vana Mana and Sonja remain with their abusive trainer, Lars Hölscher, touring with circuses across Europe. Their trainer now uses different names for himself and the elephants.

In Sweden last year, Vana Mana and Sonja – now known as Ghandi and Baby – were forced to perform by their trainer at Cirkus Skott. After their identity was discovered, Cirkus Scott announced that it would stop using wild animals.

Despite legislative measures being taken by 28 countries around the world to prohibit such acts, the use of wild animals in circuses is still permitted nationwide in Japan.

ADI President, Jan Creamer said, “The Hundred-Year-Old Man bills itself as a comedy, but there is nothing funny about the shocking abuse of the poor elephant who features in it. Experts agree that the use of wild animals in the entertainment industry causes suffering. Anyone who cares for animals should avoid ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man’ and other films that use live, performing animals instead of CGI.”

PEACE Chair, Sachiko Azuma said, “So little is known about the treatment of animals used in movies and TV in Japan. I hope that criticism of the use of the elephant in this movie will raise public awareness of this issue.”

The film industry itself is increasingly turning the spotlight on the use of animals in entertainment – Seaworld is facing severe criticism for keeping captive orca following the release of Blackfish, and ADI’s inspiring rescue of 25 lions from illegal Bolivian circuses is charted in uplifting action-documentary Lion Ark.

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Sachiko Azuma +81-70-5569-7689
Fleur Dawes +44 (0)207 630 33 44 or +44 (0)778 555 25 48

{link: report on the investigation of the use of elephants at the Great British Circus in 2009

Expressen report on filming with Vana Mana (referred to as Ghandi in the article)

SvD report on elephants abused at the Great British Circus performing at Cirkus Skott

Lion Ark:

Animal Defenders International
With offices in London, Los Angeles and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.

PEACE (Put an End to Animal Cruelty and Exploitation)
Japanese organization based in Tokyo. Main issues are animal testing, zoos and aquariums, exotic pets, farm animals, and so on. Based on research, PEACE promotes public awareness, request for improvement, and the like. See circus animals in Japan: {link}{/link}

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