In light of the new ADI video that shows extended footage of the elephants at HTWT, we have updated this post to share only the official statement from HTWT.
To the activists, please note we are only a fan site for the movie and we would appreciate that your criticisms be directed to the appropriate people – not us. As you can probably imagine, this is a very difficult time for the administrators of this blog that have met these elephants.
Below is the official statement from Have Trunk Will Travel:
We are unwavering in our commitment to elephants. We stand by our care and training methods. We are proud of our contributions to elephant welfare and conservation.
Animal rights extremist groups are using Tai’s role in Water for Elephants as a vehicle to take advantage of her celebrity to further their efforts to remove elephants and all exotic animals from entertainment. These groups have no basis of knowledge or experience working with elephants. They have an agenda and a history of using less than honest means to achieve their goals.
The video shows heavily edited and very short snippets, obviously taken surreptitiously six years ago, purporting mistreatment of our elephants. If there was truly any abuse going on why wait six minutes, much less six years?
None of the footage being shown was taken during Tai’s training for Water for Elephants. Tai’s celebrity and the popularity of the movie seem to be the motivation for the extremist groups to garner publicity for themselves and their cause. As our work in the movie proves you can make something look like anything to suit your purposes. That is why they call it “movie magic”.
Rest assured that we will continue to provide Tai and all of our elephants with the love and excellent care they deserve.
Gary and Kari Johnson
Have Trunk Will Travel, Inc.