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Giraffe on ‘The Zookeeper’ Set Dies

Written by PETA | September 15, 2009
movieline / CC

Just a month after PETA wrote to the cast and producers of The Zookeeper to warn them that the company supplying animals for the movie’s production has a long list of USDA citations, we have heartbreaking news to report. Tweet, a giraffe on the set who had also been forced to perform in Ace Ventura and a slew of Toys “R” Us commercials, has died.

Tweet collapsed in his pen while being fed on Friday. While giraffes in the wild can live into their mid 20s, Tweet was only 18 years old.

The results of Tweet’s necropsy haven’t been released yet, but according to a whistleblower who contacted PETA, Tweet’s premature death may have resulted from his eating pieces of the blue tarp that covered his enclosure. The whistleblower alleges that Tweet’s owner and trainers were notified that the giraffe had been eating the tarp but that they did nothing about it.

The whistleblower also said that Tweet spent the last few months of his life confined to a 20-foot-by-20-foot stall, which was barely large enough for the 18-foot-tall giraffe to lie down in. In their natural habitat, giraffes live in vast home ranges of up to 400 square miles.

PETA is now calling on the USDA to investigate Tweet’s death. We’re also asking for other people associated with the production of the movie to come forward with additional information about the treatment of animals on the set.

Written by Shawna Flavell

Commenting is closed.
  • Melissa says:

    This is so very sad…

  • A. A. Felice NEFF says:

    Poor Tweet! Just too too sad for words! This is all about the dollar and in this financial climate companies do not want their already sinking sales to sink any further! Hit them in the wallet!

  • Morgan Kanae says:

    I was so sad to hear about Tweet. What a sweet gentle animal. Such a horrible way to die. Tweets end was so very painfull and cruel. I wish they had listened to the warnings. This is a bussisness for these cold hearted people who can’t form an attachement to humans or animals. Their only attachment is to money. How sad they inflict this pain on the rest of us in order for them to make money. We need to say no more to these people.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Sometimes animals die of depression just like people do I call it “heart rot”. I don’t know if animals have the understanding that they are going to die someday but if they do perhaps Tweet was simply tired of living the way he was made to and decided to simply stop.

  • Dru says:

    The vets found no blue tarp in the animals mouth or stomach. This could easily have been a animal who died of natural causes. It is very sad that this animal died. Not all animals lives forever and some young animals do die of natural causes just like many humans. Circle of life people. Dont waist tax payers money on a fed case if there is no proof. You could call any hospital and tell them someone is going to die. It does not mean that there has to be a fed investigation.

  • Jane T says:

    Never forget to look to VACCINATION for possible cause of death. Vets will argue just like doctors that it WASN’T the vaccine. Many vaccines cause stroke heart attack etc. I always look for this denominator first.

  • layla says:

    okay i just have a question i dont really know what PETA is all about and i always here bad things but i like to find out things myself so i have a question do you guys eat meat?

  • Cass Porter says:

    I believe Peta does a good job initially but they need to stop jumping to conclusions and investigate further before posting slanderous accusations. You people are like religious fanatics. Monitor but don’t force lies and untruths.

  • Julie Zserdin says:

    it is disgusting how cruel aimals are treated. it is disgusting that owners of animals that are making them rich care so little for thier welfare. it is time all animals were banned from entertainment.

  • Mark Iman says:

    I am personal friends with the owners of Tweet and can attest that Tweet was given the most comfortable pen to live. It was several acres big with plenty of running space and sleeping space. I have had occasion to visit with Tweet and handler have seen with my own two eyes that Tweet and all the animals on the property are given the best care. Your story is ridiculous. Being the father of an animal loving child I have been to many zoos and animal sanctuaries. None compare to the how good Animals In Motion maintains the animals there. Please get your facts straight if you really want people to listen to your message. Don’t blame the good guys. RIP TWEET

  • Erin says:

    okay this is really depressing but come on! Just because the sweetie tweet passed away so early doesn’t mean it was the owner’s fault. Humans die of natural causes every day. My 24 year old cousin is in the hospital because he had a heart attack. He went to the doctors a week before and they said he was fine. But still it is VERY sad….

  • Lacey Matthews says:

    Kelsey If you read the blog closely you will see that it was a whistleblower who posed the theory that eating the tarp may have led to Tweet’s death. Obviously whether or not the tarp succeeded in clogging his intestines it was unsafe and irresponsible to let him eat it.

  • Kelsey says:

    I completely agree with everything PETA has to say and I am too greatly saddened by Tweet’s death and I am angered of his caged living conditions. However I did read in an article that PETA blamed Tweet’s owners for allowing him to eat blue tarp and that leading to the cause of his death. What I also have read is the necropsy done just 30 minutes after his death showed absolutely no blue tarp in Tweet’s mouth or stomach. Maybe it was done wrong or it just was not there but all I am saying is that we should not be so quick to judge on who’s fault it is that Tweet died just as we do not want to see humans be so quick to judge that an animal’s rights are so far beneath our own. Who knows his death could have been natural. Even after what I have said I still disagree with animals being used for any kind of entertainment I just feel that we have taken advantage of the fact Tweet died on a movie set when in fact it seems that it had nothing to due with his death.

  • Lisa K says:

    Once again..I am angry!!! They knew and did NOTHING!! I am so sick of cruel evil lazy and neglectful “people”. Good bye too soon Sweet Tweet

  • Mary says:

    It breaks my heart to read stories like this and we read them all to oftern. When will humans learn that if we do not take care of nature it will take care of us one way or the other.

  • ava says:

    When are people going to realise that animals are not performers?. I dont understand hy anyone would think that living in a 20 by 20 foot cage is a fun life for a giraffe?. How ignorant can people be? i would like to see the movie or show whatever it is i am britishlolshut down.

  • AAG says:

    What’s even more cruel about the death of Tweet due to negligence and greed are the vile comments made by people responding to this article. Human beings can be so hateful and violent towards animals but according to people who are insensitive to animals and ridicule those that defend them it is the advocates that are zealots or crazies. RIP Tweet!

  • Richard says:

    Please let us know who the producers of this movie are who ignored the warnings and who at USDA we should contact to get this investigated.

  • Richard says:

    Please whistleblowers don’t let these moneyhungry sleazeballs get away with killing this animal It is also time for President Obama to get his USDA to shut down these criminal companies with all these violations.

  • simara delilah rose says:

    a huge loss indeed I am grateful for every animal that graces this planet their lives and contribution are so important and appreciated by me and that is why we all must boycott any movies circus’s . “pet” stores zoo’s any animal prisons or places that exploit and abuse animals.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    African wildlife species are in a dire crises due to inhumane humans. They’re being massacred in their native homelands and they’re generally not being treated very well in captivity.

  • Yuri says:

    I was sad to hear about this. It’s just so depressing to see how many ignorant people exist in this world people who are willing to sacrifice innocent animals for their convenience. When is all this going to stop? Animals were not put in this world for us. They were put here for a reason and it wasn’t for us to exploit them abuse them kill them eat them or have them live in misery all their lives. Please help put an end to all this and be compasionate about all animal suffering. Speak for them dont just watch and take off. Listen to their needs because no matter how small an animal is they will love you back inconditionally like no human being can.