Watch it now!
Elephant Trainer in the Room is now available on Amazon. Click the image below to go directly to the link. If you have Amazon Prime, it's free!
"This is a difficult (sometimes hard to watch) but honest look at the brutal use of the ankus in old style elephant training. The movie's message of using positive relationships (instead of negative, fear-based ones) is a lesson that extends beyond the world of animal training and into everyday lives."
Carolyn Hennessy, producer and host of Animal Magnetism, a radio program featuring wildlife and domestic animal professionals, is featured throughout the documentary and sums up its positive elephant training message, “It’s just a brilliant way; it’s a humane way; it’s the right way; it’s the only way.”
Excerpt from press release - scroll down for full release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Elephant Trainer in the RoomDocumentary
available on Amazon Prime
Homosassa, Fla., March 12, 2019 -- Vanguard Media and Precision Behavior are pleased to announce that Elephant Trainer in the Room is now available for viewing on Amazon Prime. The one-hour documentary explains why the time has come for fear-based training techniques of bull hooks and tasers to stop and for trust-based positive training to be implemented worldwide.
Elephant Trainer in the Room, directed by Jeff Boucher and hosted by globally respected animal behaviorists Thad Lacinak and Angi Millwood-Lacinak, takes the viewer on a heart-wrenching-to-heartwarming journey inside the world of elephant training. Traveling from North America to Cambodia and Thailand, they visit facilities that employ the harmful practice of using bull hooks and others that alternatively use the enriching and healthy methods of applied positive reinforcement.
Film and TV stars Beverly D’Angelo and Carolyn Hennessy also appear in the film, advocating for training methods that address animal welfare through positive relationships, enrichment and trust. Hennessy, producer and host of Animal Magnetism, a radio program featuring wildlife and domestic animal professionals, is featured throughout the documentary and sums up its positive elephant training message, “It’s just a brilliant way; it’s a humane way; it’s the right way; it’s the only way.”
As the zoological world expands its understanding and methods to advance animal welfare, the film draws on expertise from a variety of training professionals including Dr. Grey Stafford and clicker training pioneer, Karen Pryor. Otto Fad, and Jeff Andrews from Busch Gardens and Gary Priest from San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park share the ground-breaking roads they traveled from bull hook to protected contact. The result: calmer and more comfortable animals. Lacinak adds, “These techniques also have enabled their animals to receive crucial medical care without having to sedate them, which can cause massive trauma and stress to these gentle giants.”
A leader in the zoological field for more than 40 years, Lacinak has helped zoo and aquarium animal care professionals around the world create progressive programs that enrich the lives of their animals and their caretakers. He explains, “Positive reinforcement works … with fish, whales, elephants and, yes, with people. While I commend the exceptional accreditation standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), I believe that a transition to only positive elephant training methods by every institution that cares for these animals is something that could and should change today.”
According to Millwood-Lacinak, “There are great stories of change for the better in elephant stewardship to be found all over the world. Even in Cambodia and Thailand — places where mahouts (elephant trainers) have used the bull hook for millennia — our crew found two programs that traded the bull hook for trust, and I’m sure our viewers will be amazed, as we were, by the results. A portion of the film proceeds will go to these two places: The Elephant Nature Park located outside of Chiang Mia, Thailand and the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (under jurisdiction of the Forestry Administration) located outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia.”
With an urgent call for change, Millwood-Lacinak shares what viewers can do to help. “We encourage people to visit and support zoos and facilities that have chosen a higher ethical standard for elephants by eliminating bull hooks. Social media, emails, letters or a person-to-person handshake also are all great ways to reinforce these positive actions.”
Elephant Trainer in the Room, available for free to anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription, also is available to/for rent or purchase. Visit Precision Behavior.com for more information.