How Wildlife Captured on Film

Agony far from the spotlight.

Should wild animals pay the costs for our amusement? About everybody is familiar with Hollywood blockbusters such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Hangover, and We’re Buying a Zoo. Animal actors feature in leading or supporting roles in many of these films. Wild animals as stars in films, television shows, advertisements, and music videos are extremely common, and they are often used for entertainment, bringing in huge amounts of money for the entertainment industry. Although, as adorable as the animal characters on film are, the circumstances on set and behind the scenes are anything but amusing for the animals. The treatment and preparation of animal stars is typically a single cause of suffering for the animals, and it is not unusual for them to get injured or even die while filming.

The animal victims of the shooting

In recent years, film productions have repeatedly claimed animal sacrifices. At least 27 animals were killed in The Hobbit because they drowned or died from infection, dehydration, and overexertion. In Water for Elephants: Real elephants had to suffer for the shoot to portray the rescue of circus elephants. The training of these elephants from the film animal rental company “Have Trunk Will Travel” (HTWT) has long been criticized. One of the elephants is to be seen in the brand new second season of the HBO series Westworld. In another episode of the season, real bears should now also be seen, but animal rights activists have so far failed to convince HBO to forego real animal actors in the future. A video about the training of elephants at HTWT exposes horrific animal cruelty.

Wild animals for hire

Birds & Animals Unlimited in the USA is one of the largest suppliers of animal performers to Hollywood. In Germany, there are some animal schools and film animal agencies where almost every species of animal can be booked. Many agencies advertise that they can teach their animal stars all imaginable tricks and behaviors. But wild animals actually avoid contact with people and can be dangerous to film with like wild animals wondering in your area, if you see one of the you can call wildlife removal san antonio for them to keep your houses safe and disease-free by controlling animals and keeping wildlife out.

And after your career?

Animal stars often end up in questionable zoos or other facilities and often have to spend their old age in solitary confinement. In Germany, animal welfare is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act. In the United States, the non-governmental American Humane Association (AHA) is responsible for monitoring film shoots with animals. Incomprehensibly, films like The Hobbit and Life of Pi: Shipwreck with Tiger still get the certificate “No animals were harmed” by the AHA. The certificate only applies to shooting on the set, but not to the attitude and conditions behind the scenes, as well as the previous training of the animals.

Not only wild animals suffer in front of the camera. Dogs, horses and the like are also tortured, injured or even die during filming in film productions. With the help of the latest techniques such as animation or computer generated imaging (CGI), good alternatives can now be created that make the yield of real animals in front of the camera superfluous. Films like the Planet of the Apes or salmon fishing in Yemen were shot completely without animal actors.