💔 Her death comes after decades of abuse, confinement, and forced appearances in films and TV shows.
After being captured from her family as a calf, Tai was eventually sold to her abusive handlers at Have Trunk Will Travel.
They beat her with bullhooks and used electric shocks to force her to perform. She was carted around the country to dozens of sets, including ‘Water for Elephants,’ ‘George of the Jungle’, and HBO’s Westworld.
In 2005, an undercover investigator for Animal Defenders International (ADI) obtained damning footage of elephants being brutally trained by HTWT workers — the workers beat and prodded the elephants with bullhooks, and shocked them with stun guns, to get them to perform tricks.
In one section of the footage, one of the older female elephants, ( it was Tai who also performed in the recent episode of “Westworld”), cries out when she’s zapped with the stun gun on her sensitive skin.
CGI, animatronics, and so many more humane technologies exist—Hollywood must ban using real animals in film and TV!
The video also shows trainers repeatedly torturing and mocking the animals while teaching them choreographies and poses for the show.
The elephants look confused and scared. They are powerless at the mercy of the chains and bumps that are used to prepare them for their scenes in film or television.
A trainer is seen violently handling a baby elephant who is clearly scared and struggling.
The trainer mocks the elephant by using a metal hook to push it into sensitive areas of the body such as the trunk.
The elephant begins to cry and other elephants watching it do the same.
According to the comment in the video, the elephants are chained for up to twelve hours if not exercised. They will then have no way of moving or relaxing.
One of the elephants in the video is a female named Tai.
She was being prepared to appear in the aforementioned episode of the Westworld series. This means that she has been suffering from the conditions shown in the video for over ten years.
Torture tools for elephants
“Have Trunk Will Travel has exhibited some of the most vicious and sadistic treatment of elephants, including babies, that I have seen on film in my over 30 years as a wildlife behavioral biologist,” Toni Frohoff, an elephant biologist with In Defense of Animals (IDA), told “The Dodo”.
“There is no excuse or justification for abusing elephants like this, nor for mishandling a helpless baby’s sensitive trunk, as is shown.”
And I mean… when The Dodo approached HBO for comment, a spokesperson noted that “none of this video was shot during the production” and claimed the ADI footage “does not in any way reflect practices on our sets.”
“All of the animals featured on HBO series are treated with the utmost care and respect for their health, safety and well-being,” the HBO spokesperson told “The Dodo”.
“A certified animal safety representative from American Humane was present at all times during any animal action on the set of ‘Westworld.’
The AHA has confirmed that the animals were well-treated, and the production received the designation of ‘No Animals Were Harmed.’
A common trait of all unscrupulous animal exploiters is to deny video recordings, even though they clearly document reality. That is also the case with the slaughterhouse investigations.
And if all the tricks and lies don’t work, then the animal abusers speak of an absolute exception, or from an “inexperienced” employee.
The best way to stop performing animals for entertainment is to not endorse productions that use them. We can vote with our wallets by not attending circuses and other forms of entertainment.
And maybe making the names and addresses of the animal abusers public on the Internet, that could also help a lot
My best regards to all, Venus