A shocking undercover video that shows the owner of the tiger featured in the Academy Award-winning film “Life of Pi” savagely whipping a Siberian tiger, named Uno, about 20 times in a row in a “training” session was recently released by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Bowmanville Zoological Park owner Michael Hackenberger was captured on film viciously whipping the tiger, cursing and yelling at the animal. Investigators said that the tiger was so traumatized, that he involuntarily emptied his anal sacs, a fear response in big cats. Hackenberger has supplied animals to many TV and film productions, including “The Interview,” PETA said.


Hackenberger whips Uno to get him to jump from stool to stool.


In the video, which is very difficult to watch, as the crack of the whip is heard over and over, Hackenberger hits the tiger on its sensitive paws and face, admitting he took pleasure in the vicious training session.

“I like hitting them in the face”




“I like hitting him in the face. And the paws … being on the rock, when you hit him, it’s like a vice,” he said.  “It stings more,” he states in the video.

This isn’t the first time Hackenberger has been caught using cruel methods to train his wild animals for entertainment. He also swore at a baboon on live television when the primate fell off of a pony during a stunt.  If this is how Hackenberger treats his animals when witnesses are there to see it, we hate to think of what is done when out of the public eye.

You can watch the full video here, but be warned that it is not an easy one to see.

What Can You Do?

Individuals such as Hackenberger are able to stay in business because profits allow the shows to go on. The number one thing you can do to help captive animals is to make your voice heard with your wallet. By not buying tickets to circuses, zoos or movies that use wild animals, these individuals will not have the financial support to keep their cruel practices going. Today’s special effects and simulations provide the same visual experience as watching an animal on screen or stage without the involvement of cruelty or captivity. The film “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” wowed movie-goers with incredible computer-generated imagery (CGI), and considering the film brought in $100 million during opening weekend in the U.S. alone, we think audiences and producers would agree.


No animal should have to suffer for our entertainment.