Hollywood Animal Trainer Caught Whipping Tiger On Camera (VIDEO)

Truth rating: 10
Animal Trainer Whips Tiger

By Andrew Shuster |

Animal Trainer Whips Tiger


Michael Hackenberger, a Hollywood animal trainer and owner of Canada’s Bowmanville Zoological Park, was caught on camera brutally whipping a tiger during a training session. You can watch the video below, but be forewarned, the footage is quite disturbing.

Hackenberger is one of the top animal trainers in the film business, having worked on such movies as Life of Pi, The Interview, and George of the Jungle. In the shocking video released by animal rights organization PETA, he can be seen verbally and physically abusing a young Siberian tiger, which he whips multiple times as the animal cowers on the floor.

While later discussing his training technique, a secretly recorded Hackenberger can be heard saying, “I like hitting him in the face. And the paws… It stings more.” He then admitted that if PETA ever found out about his practices, the group “would burn this place to the ground.” Hackenberger has since released a video of his own, titled “Our Response to PETA’s Lies,” in which he insists the situation was “misrepresented,” adding, “I would go so far as to say [PETA is] lying,”

In a statement exclusive to Gossip Cop, Brittany Peet, PETA’s Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Law, says:

“PETA’s new eyewitness video — which reveals that zoo owner and animal trainer Michael Hackenberger swore at and savagely whipped a tiger up to 20 times and also shows him explaining his preferred ways to inflict pain — demonstrates yet again that wild animals are forced to perform under the threat of punishment. PETA is seeking cruelty-to-animals charges against Hackenberger, who has supplied and trained animals for TV and film productions, including Life of Pi, The Interview, and George of the Jungle. The public can help animals used in the entertainment industry by not patronizing circuses or other attractions that force animals to perform and by not supporting movies that use wild animal “actors.” As demonstrated by the hit movies Noah and Jurassic Park — for which large numbers of animals were created with humane and versatile computer-generated imagery — it’s clearly possible to make great films and even blockbusters without exploiting live animals.”

If so inclined, watch the shocking footage below, and tell Gossip Cop who you believe: PETA or Hackenberger.


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