Credit animal-public.de

This May sees the release of the film adaptation of the best-selling novel ‘Water for Elephants’, starring Robert Pattinson and Reece Witherspoon. Whilst the Born Free Foundation notes that the film touches on cruelty towards animals in circuses, we are extremely disappointed that the producers did not take the book’s core message to heart and make the compassionate decision not to use trained wild animals in the film.

Elephants forced into the circus, like Rosie (the elephant in the film), live miserable lives of extended periods of confinement, long-haul transportation, and inadequate housing in “beastwagons”, all in the name of so-called entertainment. It has been frequently documented that the training and handling of wild animals in circuses can include violence, the use of bullhooks or prolonged restraint.
There is, of course, also the issue of the individual elephant, Tai, who was used in filming “Water for Elephants” and the ongoing publicity photo shoots and live appearances. Tai is ‘owned’ by a company who rent out wild-born elephants for rides and entertainment. We believe that it is never justified or appropriate to use wild animals in entertainment, and with recent, amazing technological advances in film production (the upcoming ‘Planet of the Apes’ remake will only use CGI apes, for example), there is no longer any excuse for exploiting wild animals in this way.

We live in hope that thanks to the recent case of Anne, the elephant whose beatings at ‘Bobby Roberts Super Circus’ were documented by ADI, that people who are not aware of the suffering of circus animals will be enlightened and join the 94.5% of people in the UK who already support a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

Elephants don’t belong in the circus or the zoo – they belong in the wild. That’s something every Compassionate Conservationist knows!

20 Responses to “WATER FOR ELEPHANTS”

  1. Christie Says:

    I love the book immensely but was extremely disappointed to learn that Tai was from an entertainment business. I waited for this movie for so long and believed it could help raise lots of awareness to cruelty behind circuses especially where there will be lots of Robert Patterson fans. When I saw the trailer I was very excited, then I saw the elephant doing the handstand and my heart sank.. I thought the movie would use 3D graphics for the elephant in the movie, which can be equally effective as with AVATAR and other successful movies. Very disappointed and will not be supporting this upcoming movie at the cinemas!

  2. Lorraine Moe Says:

    I will NOT being seeing ‘Water for Elephants’ Elephants are not here on this earth for our entertainment and abuse.

  3. Mike Dooley Says:

    This is one movie I will not be going to see.

  4. Louise Berry Says:

    I will definately not be watching this movie on principle.

  5. Ruth Carter Says:

    We wont be going to watch this film at all…no way do we want to see elephants doing tricks….

  6. Kathryn Fenley Says:

    I will NOT be watching this film. A co-worker insisted I read the book and I had to make myself finish reading the book to find out why the coworker thought it was so wonderful. I did not enjoy the book and know I will not enjoy the movie. Animals do not belong in circuses, zoos OR in movies!!

  7. Victoria Kelly Says:

    I certainly will not go and see this movie given the fact that they are using animals who are already suffering miserably. It is such a shame that they did not practise what they preach. Wild animals are wild and should be left in the wild.

  8. Jackie Hickey Says:

    Will definitely NOT be watching this film! :(

  9. Norma Koning Says:

    Definitely will NOT go see this movie… Elephants or ANY other wild animals (think orcas and dolphins at places like SeaWorlds…) are indeed NOT on this earth for our entertainment and abuse… :( ((((

  10. K. Williamson Says:

    I was just discussing this with co-workers yesterday and said I was reserving my decision to see the movie until I find out more about Tai’s situation and the movie’s message regarding animals in circuses. Movies are excellent vehicles for raising public awareness.
    I did read the book and liked it; this was before my own awareness was raised by stories like the Adamsons, Fitzjohn, Anne, Christian, and so many others that reveal the beauty of wildlife and the harsh realities of captivity. Stories like these have opened my eyes and can open many more the more they are told. This movie could have been a great opportunity to do that. What a waste.

  11. Heather Blackburn Says:

    won’t be going to see this. animals are not here for people to use and abuse. i really hope they lose a LOT of money on this film, and learn a valuable lesson.

  12. Ginny Says:

    I did not read the book because I heard it was not a good book,nor will I be seeing the movie because animals in a Circus are abused animals. People need to stop thinking that Circus animals are well treated as they are not. Elephants are not made to perform tricks.

  13. shelley Says:

    umm… the author pays a huge tribute elephants that were abused in the past. and while I may not agree with Tai’s owner’s decision to put her in the entertainment business, there were animal rights officials on set everyday to insure she was heathly and treated properly. she also lives on a huge ranch in CA, so she’s not exactly being carted around the world like a circus elephant. many of her scenes were CGIed.
    even if you don’t agree with animals being used in movies, and I’m not saying that I do, this book and movie share a beautiful message about the relationships formed by humans and animals.

  14. isobel kendrick curteis Says:

    I will definately not be paying out for a movie that, yet again, one of God’s beautiful animals is being used and ABUSED, yes ABUSED What a wicked cruel world we live in. Thank God we have people like Born Free and ADI and other good groups fighting for our animals.

  15. Sarah Blake Says:

    I will NOt be watching the movie and hope that if people boycott the film, it will raise the profile of animals in captivity sufferring for the pleasure and entertainment of humans.

  16. Dorothy Scanlan Says:

    I will not go see this movie!

  17. Patty Shenker Says:

    How can you best turn an amazingly touching, fictional book about the exploitation of people & animals in a circus into a farce? Make a movie using a real, abused elephant named Tai from Have Trunk Will Travel.com and having the American Humane Association put its meaningless trademark- No animals were harmed! Thank you for speaking up and out against this further abuse of elephants. Please join my Facebook [age- Boycott the Movie- Water for Elephants!

  18. monica Says:


  19. Ros Raubenheimer Says:

    Wild Animals belong in the wild.

  20. janet Says:

    I shall not be watching this film and will be asking friends and family to do the same.