Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Abused elephant used again in new film shows industry indifference to suffering of animal actors

Posted: 20 September 2017. Updated: 20 September 2017

Animal Defenders International (ADI) video caught the owners and trainers of Have Trunk Will Travel, the company providing the elephant for the movie, Saving Flora, violently hitting and ‘hooking’ the elephant actor, Tai, with bullhooks and shocking her with stun guns. ADI contacted the movie producers, FJ Productions, shared our evidence and warned them they are using an abused elephant. Saving Flora is about the rescue of a circus elephant and is scheduled to come out in 2018. ADI is calling on the movie makers to use CGI technology to replace animals and calling on Hollywood to stop using animal providers with a history of abuse.

Jan Creamer, ADI President said, “The fact that studios are still using Tai six years after we exposed her as an abused elephant when Water for Elephants came out in 2011, shows an industry indifference to the suffering of animal actors. It’s time studios take a stand and fully embrace CGI technology to protect animals. This elephant provider, Have Trunk Will Travel, should have long ago been blacklisted from any work in Hollywood.”

Watch ADI’s “No Fun For Elephants” video here that shows:
•Elephants including Tai are repeatedly given electric shocks with hand held stun guns
•Tai cries out when being shocked into performing a headstand
•Elephants including Tai are beaten about the body and legs with bullhooks

ADI sent FJ Productions our No Fun for Elephants video, narrated by Emmy award winning TV host Bob Barker, which includes shocking scenes of violence during training and handling of elephants supplied by Have Trunk Will Travel of Perris, CA. Tai and their herd of five elephants are used for public rides, performances as well as other movies. The video footage also depicts abuse of elephants by and Trunks & Humps of Conroe, TX.

In addition to Saving Flora, Tai has starred in many films including Water for Elephants which received a ‘No Animals Were Harmed’ endorsement. However, ADI has shown that unacceptably violent training techniques were used on Tai and other elephants behind the scenes before they arrived on set. This glaring blind spot in the oversight provided by groups like the American Humane Association illustrate at least one way they fail to protect animal actors in movies, commercials and other productions.

ADI has contacted American Humane, urging them to re-evaluate how they assess the use of animals in films and the statements being made which effectively endorse the use of performing animals.

Jan Creamer: “There is only so much that can be monitored on set or by visits to suppliers, as we have shown before the actual training goes on in secret.”

ADI has a campaign to encourage studios to sign a policy statement to end the use of wild animals in their productions.

Media Contact: ADI Media Desk | 323-804-9920 |

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