Kmart shark: During a commercial shoot for Kmart, a white-tipped shark died, it was reported.
A shark that was being used in a Kmart commercial died, prompting an investigation into the matter, according to a newspaper report on Thursday.
The shark died on March 6 after it was shipped from New York to Los Angeles, said the Los Angeles Times. The white-tipped shark, which was around 5‘6 long, was placed in a shallow above-ground pool in Van Nuys.
The American Humane Assn. (AHA) received a letter saying the shark died during the shooting. When it showed signs of stress, the shark got an injection of adrenaline and received oxygen from a trainer and was sent to a Long Beach-based specialist, dying later in the day.
“Sharks are sensitive animals who, in captivity, require a highly specialized and controlled environment,” Julia Gallucci, an animal behavior specialist for People for the Ethical Treatement of Animals (PETA), said in the letter to an official with the AHA, according to the paper. The AHA is responsible for the “No Animals Were Harmed” message in movies.
She added, “Given the delicate nature of this species, why would the AHA approve the transport and use of the animal?”
Gallucci said she got a complaint from an anonymous source who worked on the Kmart commercial.
She added that Boxer Films of Los Angeles, the production company for the commercial, recommended not using a live shark. After the shark died, Kmart officials wanted another shark for the commercial, but eventually settled for using a robotic hippopotamus.
“Human actors repeatedly jumped in and out of the pool during the shoot, which likely caused the animal to stress,” said PETA in a blog posting on Thursday.
It added, “Sharks are delicate animals who, in captivity, require a highly specialized and controlled environment.”
Madeline Bernstein, head of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, told The Associated Press that “instead of entrusting the safety of animal actors to a private agency whose services are paid for by the very industry that would exploit them, let us simply call for an end of using animals as living, breathing props for our entertainment.”
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