The American Humane Association (AHA) said that a white tip shark that was shipped from New York to Los Angeles and placed in an outdoor pool for a Kmart commercial has died.
The AHA, which certifies film and TV productions with animals, had a representative at the scene of the shoot. The organization said that the crew did everything possible to ensure the safety of the five-foot shark.
Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it was given details about the shark's death from two people who were on set. PETA criticized the AHA in letter it wrote to the group, according to The Huffington Post.
“Sharks are sensitive animals who, in captivity, require a highly specialized and controlled environment," the PETA letter read. "Given the delicate nature of this species, why would the AHA approve the transport and use of this animal?"
Karen Rosa, senior adviser for the film and television unit of the AHA, said that the shark was placed into a 60,000 gallon tank and that there was a good amount of water for the fish. “We honestly don't know why the animal died. It was not being mistreated. It was not being harmed," Rosa said.
The shark was doing fine at first, but then the AHA rep noticed it was showing signs of distress and ordered medical treatment for the animal. "As far as I know, it was immediately insisted upon that the animal receive specialized aquatic veterinarian care," she said.
Oxygen was pumped into the tank and the fish was given a shot of adrenaline to try to stabilize it but it wasn’t enough. The shark died after it was transferred to an aquatic compound for care.
"We take this matter seriously and safety is always our paramount concern," Howard Riefs, a spokesman for Kmart owner Sears Holdings, said in a statement. It is not clear what the concept behind the commercial was.
Source: (The Huffington Post)