Performing Animal Welfare SocietyMay 12, 2011
And The Hits Just Keep On Coming!

Animal Defenders International

Releases Second "Have Trunk Will Travel"

Training Video


Warning: This video is graphic!

More video evidence of movie elephant suffering...
More video evidence of movie elephant suffering...

To view a history of all


elephants. . . click here. 



A Message From Pat Derby:


"To undergo an imposition or to endure a condition which is painful, distressing or injurious" is the full meaning of the verb to suffer.


The scenes in this new video of the training of the young elephant as the rest of the group stands nearby is particularly abhorrent. As the trainers hold her trunk to maintain control, the baby's eyes and mouth-open behavior indicate incredible stress. To hear a female trainer yell "hook her foot" should incite every mother in the world to protest this training and the entertainment industry for which these animals are suffering.


In Section 2.131, "Handling of Animals", from the Federal Animal Welfare Act, USDA, it states that: "Handling of all animals shall be done as expeditiously and carefully as possible in a manner that does not cause trauma. . . behavioral stress, physical harm, or unnecessary discomfort."


The anger and lack of compassion among the trainers pictured in this video, is reason enough to remove the animals from these abusive circumstances. The abject terror of the elephants is palpable, and I am devastated to think how long they have suffered.


This is, sadly, the real training for the movies Water For Elephants and the new Kevin James movie, Zookeeperset to open in July. Have Trunk Will Travel has supplied the elephants for both of these films. To see intelligent, social animals brutalized in this manner does nothing to promote awareness of the importance of conservation or understanding of elephants in the wild.


Have Trunk Will Travel is listed as certified by the AZA (The Association of Zoos and Aquariums). In a letter dated July 13, 1989, The California Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), in opposition to PAWS' first bill, SB 892, which became law, stated: "We would like to make sure that the language contained in this bill would not prohibit use of: hand-held, battery-operated, low-voltage, electrical devices used for directing the movement of elephants; the ankus (bullhook) standard elephant keeper tool. . . and training which is a form of discipline, as long as the procedures are not done maliciously, with the intent to abuse or harm the elephant."


Most California zoos do not condone this type of training, but the national organization, AZA, still allows chaining and use of the bullhook as an acceptable form of elephant management, and supports Have Trunk Will Travel as a Certified Related Facility.


AZA should be the leader in protesting the brutality depicted in ADI's graphic video and opposing the use of elephants and other animals for entertainment, not a supporter of abusive trainers and training techniques which are archaic and cruel.


PAWS 2010 Letter To 20th Century Fox

When we first read that 20th Century Fox was in pre-production for the film version of Water For Elephants last year, a group that included Dr. Joyce Poole, PAWS co-founder/director Pat Derby, Elephant Voices board member Patty Shenker, and Los Angeles Alliance for Elephants founder, Catherine Doyle, sent a very polite letter, dated April 28, 2010, asking them to avoid using live animals, particularly elephants, for the production and explained why we were opposed to the use of live animals in entertainment.


The closing paragraph of that letter stated: "We look forward to being able to see and enjoy an animal-free "Water for Elephants" in the not so distant future, and we are happy to discuss any elephant issues further with you if you so wish. We would appreciate hearing from you on this important issue."


Our response from Fox stated that they would be using Have Trunk Will Travel, a company with an impeccable record of humane training.


The Early Years


While working as an animal trainer in Hollywood more than 40 years ago, PAWS co-founder and director, Pat Derby, witnessed first-hand the neglect and abuse prevalent in the industry. Pat specialized in non-abusive training using positive reinforcement, unlike most Hollywood trainers at the time who relied on dominance and physical force.


Determined to initiate better standards of care and handling for performing animals, Pat chronicled her experiences in her first book, The Lady and Her Tiger. An exposŤ on the treatment of performing animals, it was chosen as a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection, won an American Library Association Award in 1976, and caused her career in Hollywood to come to a grinding halt.


She retired the animals she owned, bought a resort among the redwoods of northern California, and threw herself into full-time activism, education and fundraising. In 1984 she and partner Ed Stewart founded PAWS.


"What's My Line" with Pat Derby




More From Pat Derby. . .


After the release of the horrifying video of elephant training at Have Trunk Will Travel by Animal Defenders International earlier this week (view here), and now the second video released yesterday, I realized that much of the information supplied in the PAWS publication Everything You Should Know About Elephants is so old it needs to be revisited. Sadly, however, the abusers are the same even after so many years have passed. Hopefully, Animal Defenders and the internet will effect the changes that are so necessary to alleviate the suffering of elephants and all animals in entertainment.


My book, The Lady & Her Tiger, was published in 1976. As I skim through that book, I am struck by the fact that so many of the comments, observations and quotes made then are still relevant today.



Excerpts from "The Lady & Her Tiger"


"Something else I was learning every day was that animal work tends to attract a high proportion of sadistic psychotics."


Me, with baby elephant Taj.

"He had a bullhook, which may be the most viciously efficient goad ever invented, and he caught Taj (baby elephant) around the trunk with it and hauled her back. . . Then he took hold of her with his hands, one hand behind each ear. There are big nerve centers there, and they make young elephants fairly easy to handle, if you don't mind hurting them."


"All the humans attending the award banquet (American Humane Association's) are dressed to the teeth, and TV Guide runs a funny feature on the difficulties of getting all those chimps and rats and tarantulas to tolerate one another: and nobody knows about the real world of animal training..."


"There was always a representative of the American Humane Association on the set. . . but somehow (they) would have been sent off to get coffee. . . when this trainer worked. Even the most decent and enlightened people seem to place their deepest trust in the torturer."


"Ah, it's just a hot-shot, just getting his attention."



Excerpts from PAWS publication, "Everything You Should Know About Elephants"


"Elephant handlers all over the world concede that they regularly discipline the animals with electric shock, by beating them with axe handles and shackling their legs with chains." San Francisco Chronicle



"Elephants in working situations live under enforced, strict and rigid control by their handlers. . . They live and work in an atmosphere of discipline, performing monotonous and repetitive tasks, as part of their daily routine. They have lost control and choice over their daily activities." Lisa Landres, former elephant keeper



"One opposing company (to legislation introduced by PAWS in 1994 to reduce the amount of time elephants may be kept on chains), Have Trunk Will Travel, who provides 90% of all elephants for the entertainment industry, wrote to Assemblyman Horcher on March 29, 1993, boasting 'Because your bill contains unreal restrictions and provokes confrontation through unsubstantiated claims. . . we oppose your bill.'"



"Forcing elephants to give people rides, stand on their heads, walk tightropes, form pyramids and other unnatural acts in no way demonstrates "cognitive abilities", nor do they demonstrate their natural intelligence and behaviors." Pat Derby 

PAWS Publications

"The Lady & Her Tiger" and

"Everything You Should Know About Elephants"

are available for purchase on our website.

 Click Here 

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