Animal rights protesters are to picket the premiere of Kevin James' new comedy Zookeeper in a bid to persuade film fans to boycott the movie over creatures cruelty concerns.
Peta members will gather outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday (06Jul11) for a face-off with stars James, Adam Sandler and Rosario Dawson and Zookeeper director Frank Coraci.
The protest follows the death of a giraffe named Tweet, who suddenly collapsed and died last year (Sep10) during the production of the movie - according to Peta bosses.
The activists also claim elephants featured in the film were provided by a company exposed for its cruel training techniques in a recent Animal Defenders International film.
Peta director Delcianna Winders says, "Wild animals exploited by filmmakers are scared, confused, and out of their element, but time is money, so if they don't perform on cue, they can expect to be beaten or given an electric shock.
"The makers of Zookeeper hired confirmed animal abusers, so moviegoers should steer clear of this film and all others that use exotic animals and should support only willing human performers.
"The American Humane Association's certification stating that 'No animals were harmed in the making of this film' applies only to what transpires on the set, not to what happens during off-set training sessions, where abuse is most likely to occur."
Tweet, the giraffe star of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and James' new movie, died in its enclosure at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Massachusetts after completing its scenes in the film.
Peta activists allege the 18-year-old animal was mistreated and has asked for an investigation. The American Humane Society, which oversees creature treatment on movie sets, denies mistreatment.