Posted in: Animal News

Shark Flown To Los Angeles For Kmart Commercial Dies

Shark Flown To Los Angeles For Kmart Commercial Dies

A shark flown from New York to Los Angeles for a Kmart commercial died earlier this month, prompting criticism from the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The white tip shark was being monitored by the American Humane Association, the body that certified television and film productions using animals. The agency had a representative keeping an eye on the shark at the Kmart commercial shoot to ensure that the 5-foot shark was kept safe.

The shark was kept in a 60,000 gallon outdoor tank in a Los Angeles suburb, with what an American Humane Association representative called “a good amount of water.” The Kmart shark was apparently in good condition early in the day, but began to show signs of distress as the day went on.

When they noticed that the shark appeared to be in trouble, officials on set pumped oxygen into the water and gave the shark a shot of adrenaline to stabilize it. The animal was transferred to an aquatic compound for care, but died later that day.

“We honestly don’t know why the animal died,” said AHA rep Karen Rosa. “It was not being mistreated. It was not being harmed,” Rosa said.

PETA officials, who learned of the Kmart shark’s death from a whistleblower on the set of the commercial, lashed out against the American Humane Association in a letter.

“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?”

Kmart was apologetic about the fate of the shark.

“We take this matter seriously and safety is always our paramount concern,” said a spokesperson for Kmart parent Sears Holdings said about the shark’s death. “We have been advised by our agency that the production company responsible for this shoot worked with professional animal handlers and a representative of the American Humane Association for the purpose of monitoring the shark’s welfare. We are saddened by this incident.”

“We honestly don’t know why the animal died,” said AHA rep Karen Rosa. “It was not being mistreated. It was not being harmed,” Rosa said.

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