At Cinecittà Studios in Rome, a giraffe and an elephant were recently caught on camera fleeing, seemingly terrified, from a studio building. An Instagram video shows the chaos as they run away.
The animals—who reportedly had been supplied by a circus—apparently bolted after being startled by music used for a scene. Thankfully, they weren’t injured—but why in the world were they there to begin with?
What Were a Giraffe and an Elephant Doing at Cinecittà Studios?
Soundstages, with their glaring lights and booming speakers, are a far cry from animals’ natural environments. No amount of preparation can help them understand what’s going on.
In nature, giraffes and elephants instinctively avoid interactions with humans, yet the entertainment industry thrusts them into direct contact with film crews, separates animals from their families, and forces them to perform difficult and confusing tricks.
Wild animals can be unpredictable because they’re exactly that—wild. No amount of training can ever completely override their instincts, and a film set is not a natural place for these sensitive individuals. The best way to keep our fellow animals and the public safe is to stop using live animals in productions altogether.
Following this incident at Cinecittà Studios, the production reportedly cut the use of live animals from the project—but they shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
Live Animals Always Suffer on Sets
For animals exploited for film and television, the suffering often begins in infancy, when they’re torn away from their mothers as babies. Trainers often abuse them so that under the threat of violence, they’ll perform on cue. As they grow older and become less valuable to trainers, they’re often abandoned at seedy roadside zoos and other crummy facilities. These nightmarish places typically neglect animals, deprive them of food and veterinary care, and confine them to tiny cages so that humans can gawk at them.
The Cinecittà Studios incident is just the latest example of why speciesism has no place in the entertainment industry. Our fellow animals have their own needs and interests—they don’t belong in film or television productions. Today’s advances in special effects make it easier than ever to create lifelike animals on screen without exploiting real ones.
Report the Use of Animals for Entertainment
If you see something on TV, in a movie, on a set, or at a training facility, please report it to PETA right away—animals need your help. You can also contact our confidential whistleblower hotline at 323-210-2233 or send a message to [email protected]. Requests for anonymity will be respected.
Our efforts to protect animals used in the entertainment industry would not succeed without the help of compassionate witnesses.