An elephant who appeared in both “Westworld” and “Water for Elephants” has died.
The death of the animal, named Tai, was confirmed in an email PETA sent Thursday to the Daily News, sharing an obituary “written from her perspective looking back on a life of misery.” She was 55.
“W.C. Fields said never to work with animals Trust me — the feeling’s mutual,” read PETA’s obituary for the elephant. “I could’ve enjoyed living out my years with my family in nature, but instead I got a one-way ticket to life of exploitation. ... You know us elephants — we never forget.”
The organization urged readers to call on production companies to avoid using real wild animals in their projects.
Animal rights group Animal Defenders International said in 2011 that Tai was mistreated while being cared for by the Have Trunk Will Travel company and surrounding the release that year of “Water for Elephants,” posted footage from 2005 of the alleged abuse, including electric shocks given to the animal, according to The Guardian. Have Trunk Will Travel denied the allegations.
The video was also circulated by PETA in Thursday’s email.
The film, which starred Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, featured fictionalized animal cruelty.
“We were uncomfortable with the message of this film, but the more we saw the repeated assertions that this elephant has been treated with love and affection and never been abused, we realized that we had to get the truth out,” Jan Creamer, chief executive of ADI, said in 2011, according to the outlet.
The American Humane Association said at the time it was “here observing prep on ‘Water for Elephants’ ... to make sure that everybody knows that not only the action on set but also the prep is humanely done, all these animals have been treated fairly and humanely throughout the entire course of their training.”