It's Paul Olarewaju's Blog Again!!!: Hollywood Animal Trainer Charged With Animal Cruelty For Whipping A Tiger

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Hollywood Animal Trainer Charged With Animal Cruelty For Whipping A Tiger


Michael Hackenberger, an animal trainer who has some experience working in Hollywood, has been charged with animal cruelty by the Ontario Society for the Prevention for Cruelty To Animals (SPCA).

Hackenberger, who works for the Bowmanville Zoo and supplied the now famous tiger that played
Richard Parker in the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Life of Pi’, was charged by the SPCA Wednesday with five counts of animal cruelty.

The charges stem from a video which surfaced a few months ago, showing Michael whipping a young Siberian tiger on the body and face and joking about it. That video itself emerged out of a long running People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) investigation into Hackenberger, after some reports from the set of the ‘Life of Pi’ indicated he might have mistreated that tiger as well.

In a statement, the Ontario SPCA said the charges against Hackenberger included: causing the animal distress by striking it with a whip handle, repeatedly striking it with a whip, and pushing his thumb into the animal’s eye.

“The videos of Mr Hackenberger interacting with Uno, the Siberian tiger, provides a basis on which to lay charges,” Ontario SPCA Senior Inspector Jennifer Bluhm said.

“Animal cruelty is a serious offence. Our investigative unit has spent significant time reviewing the facility and interviewing all involved. Our priority is always the health and welfare of the animals.”

According to TMZ, Hackenberger has relinquished his position as director of the zoo, although he claims he did nothing wrong.

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