‘Hobbit ‘Animals Die: Nearly 30 Animals Die From ‘Death Traps’ On Movie Farm

By Amir Khan on November 19, 2012 1:22 PM EST

Hobbit
Poor conditions caused 27 "Hobbit" animals to die on set (Photo: Youtube)

"Death traps" caused nearly 30 "Hobbit" animals to die during the filming of the new "Hobbit" movie, animal wranglers allege. The wranglers said that they were forced to keep the animals used in the "Hobbit" movie on farms that contained bluffs, sinkholes and other "death traps," causing 27 Hobbit animals to die throughout the course of filming the "Hobbit" movie.

A spokesman for the "Hobbit" movie admitted that subpar conditions caused numerous Hobbit animals to die, including horses, sheep, goats, and chickens, but stressed that several deaths were of natural causes. He did confess to the Associated Press, however, that two horse deaths were avoidable.

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"One wrangler said that over time he buried three horses, as well as about six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens," the AP reported. "The wranglers say two more horses suffered severe injuries but survived."

Chris Langridge, a hired horse wrangler, attempted to fill in the sinkholes around the horse pen, but couldn't keep his animals away from what he called the "death traps" around the farm, which caused numerous "Hobbit" animals to die. Unfortunately, his horse Rainbow was the first casualty of the "Hobbit" movie.  

"When I arrived at work in the morning, the pony was still alive but his back was broken. He'd come off a bank at speed and crash-landed," Langridge told the AP. "He was in a bad state."

Rainbow had to be euthanized, and a week later, another of his animals was hurt, leading to him quitting the production.

Matt Dravitzki, the "Hobbit" movie spokesman, said the accidents that caused the "Hobbit" animals to die, especially the horses, were avoidable.

"We do know those deaths were avoidable and we took steps to make sure it didn't happen again," Dravitzki said.

Johnny Smythe, who tookover for Langridge, lost six goats and six sheep to sinkholes and worms. In addition, dogs killed several of his chickens.

The American Humane Society, which oversees animal treatment and attaches the "No animals were harmed during the making of this film" tag to movies, said no animals were harmed during the making of the "Hobbit" movie, but said they ordered several repairs during their inspection, which occurred a few months after the first Hobbit animals died.

 "We made safety recommendations to the animals' living areas," the group said. "The production company followed our recommendations and upgraded fence and farm housing, among other things."

Although the group doesn't hold the movie responsible, PETA is planning to boycott the "Hobbit" movie during its premiere, which is November 28 in Wellington, New Zealand.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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