Tiger nearly drowned on Life of Pi set

A leaked email from an American Humane Association official reveals that the Bengal tiger used during production of Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi almost drowned. The email, leaked by The Hollywood Reporter as a part of their “Animals Were Harmed” investigation, was written by monitor Gina Johnson. It reads: “The worst thing was that last week we almost f—ing killed King in the water tank. This one take with him went really bad and he got lost trying to swim to the side. Damn near drowned. … I think this goes without saying but DON’T MENTION IT TO ANYONE, ESPECIALLY THE OFFICE. I have down-played the f— out of it.”

The AHA issues the coveted “no animals were harmed in the making of this picture” label and the disclaimer was permitted for use in Life of Pi – which won four Academy Awards earlier this year. Twentieth Century Fox, the studio behind Life of Pi, claims there were no dangerous incidents on set. “The tiger, King, was never harmed and did not ‘nearly drown’ during the production,” a spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter. “We take on-set safety very seriously and take every precaution necessary to ensure that no one – animal or human – is harmed during the production of our films.” ~Raj-Kabir Birk

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Comments & Discussion

  1. J. • December 2, 2013 @ 3:12 AM

    If this is true, the animal monitor should not be working at the American Humane Association if she is willing to “downplay” the incident.

  2. Janelle • December 2, 2013 @ 10:43 AM

    I totally agree. I think the studios get away with too much – even though there are rules now, too many animals are treated cruelly on movie sets. I hope one day the only animals we see in movies are computer generated. Let animals be animals. And let kids be kids, don’t put them in movies either. It’s not healthy for them.

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