Hollywood Animal Trainer Charged with Animal Cruelty [VIDEO]

Hollywood animal trainer is now facing animal cruelty charges.

It takes a lot of time, money and hard work to make a movie. That kind of pressure spreads from the director, to the producer, to the background extras. But, sometimes certain movies require animals to appear on set as well and unfortunately, that undue amount of pressure is then placed on them. Related: ‘Dog Whisperer’ Investigated for Animal Cruelty According to a new report by The Hollywood Reporter, a trainer who has supplied animals for Hollywood movies and was caught on video allegedly verbally abusing and whipping a Siberian tiger under his care has been hit with criminal charges in Canada. From THR:

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Wednesday said it formally filed animal cruelty charges against Michael Hackenberger, the owner of the Bowmanville Zoo. The zoo keeper in December 2015 was shown in a video obtained by animal rights group PETA apparently swearing at and whipping the young tiger 19 times.

The zoo is located roughly an hour outside of Toronto. In all, Hackenberger faces five charges of animal cruelty, including one charge of causing an animal distress by pushing his thumb into the animal’s eye, and another charge of failing to comply with prescribed standards of care for a tiger.

Hackenberg has supplied a ton of animals for major motion pictures and TV shows including The Interview and a Bengal tiger in the Ang Lee movie Life of Pi. This is not the first time animal cruelty has surfaced online. An investigation in 2013 found that another tiger on set of Life of Pi allegedly nearly drowned during filming. Related: TLC Cancels ‘Gypsy Sisters’ After Cast Member Allegedly Killed a Puppy Hackenberger has denied all claims by PETA that he hit the Siberian tiger with a whip 19 times. PETA has released the video online (Viewer's Discretion is Advised): The Hollywood trainer is facing up to 5 years in prison.

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