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article imageShark dies after Kmart commercial shoot In Van Nuys pool

By Andy Iskandar     Mar 14, 2013 in Odd News
Van Nuys - Kmart and the American Humane Association (AHA) might have bit off more than it could chew, following allegations of animal mistreatment during a shoot.
PETA has reported that a 5-foot-long white-tipped shark has died in a Van Nuys background pool during a Kmart commercial filming, following reports from a whistleblower.
The death seemed to follow a particularly harrowing day for the shark, which on March 6 was shipped from New York to Los Angeles and was then put into the above-ground pool in California for shooting, during which human actors jumped in and out of the pool repeatedly. This is thought to be a likely cause of stress for the animal.
The American Humane Association (AHA) approved of the script, said PETA, and was present on the set. The AHA allegedly allowed the shoot to continue for an hour despite present signs of stress from the shark. It was then taken out of the pool and brought to a specialist in Long Beach later that day, but it died in the afternoon.
Given these allegations, the AHA was rebuked by PETA. Writing in a letter to an association official on Tuesday, Julia Gallucci, a PETA animal behavior specialist, said that “sharks are sensitive animals who… require a highly specialized and controlled environment” while in captivity and questioned why the AHA approved the shark’s transport.
AHA spokeswoman Jody Frisch said that the nonprofit group had asked for an investigation into the shark’s death by a third party. “We’re trying to be responsible and find out what the cause of the death was,” she said.
Frisch, meanwhile, defended the AHA’s conduct, claiming that the shark was a placed in a 60,000-gallon water tank that was suitable for the shark and immediately called off the shoot when the shark seemed to be ill. Furthermore, Frisch added that the AHA does not make “decisions about what animals are used, nor do [they] have jurisdiction over their transportation.”
A Sears Holding spokesperson also spoke on behalf of its subsidiary Kmart. “We take this matter seriously and safety is always our paramount concern,” he said.
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