The Elephant in the Living Room

The Elephant in the Living Room

Streaming Video - 2011
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Praised by critics as one of the best films of the year, The Elephant in the Living Room takes viewers deep inside the controversial subculture of raising the most dangerous animals in the world, as common household pets. Set against the backdrop of a heated national debate, director Michael Webber chronicles the extraordinary journey of two men at the heart of the issue - Tim Harrison, a police officer whose friend was killed by an exotic pet; and Terry Brumfield, a big-hearted man who struggles to raise two African lions. In the first of many unexpected twists, the lives of these two men collide when Terry's male lion escapes its pen and is found attacking cars on a nearby highway. Winner of 5 Best Documentary Awards, the film exposes the shocking reality behind this multi-billion dollar industry with stunning photography, inspiring storytelling and unprecedented access to a world rarely seen, right in our backyard.
Audience: NRC
Publisher: Made available through hoopla, 2011.
[United States] : GRAVITAS VENTURES, 2011.
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource (1 video file (approximately 96 min.)) : sound, color


From the critics

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Sep 13, 2016

Very good documentary. I am very much against keeping exotic pets and feel that it should be illegal to do so. It is shocking to realize there are so many states which do not even require a permit or licence to keep these animals! The discussions after the movie are worth watching.

Jan 12, 2013

This is about the abundance of exotic animals in North American cities and the risk to humans and the animals themselves. There is also a lack of legal protection for the animals.

Aug 27, 2012

another well documented, 'you've got to be kidding me about how ridiculous some people can be' look at First World Problems!

Jul 30, 2012

After you've watched the documentary, I recommend watching the round table session in the special features. It answers several questions that were raised during the film and provides some good follow up.

May 06, 2012

An eye-opening documentary about the problem of Americans keeping large and/or dangerous wild animals as pets. It gets its narrative drive from its focus on two individuals in Ohio--one keeping a family of African lions in less-than-deal conditions, one an animal control officer (once a lion owner himself, but now a crusader against the keeping of exotic animals in domestic situations). Both love animals in their own way, both end up working together to improve the welfare of the aforementioned family of lions, All against the backdrop of surprising statistics and the (sometimes tragic) incidents, involving all manner of exotic fauna in U.S homes and backyards. Great doc.

Apr 24, 2012

A really interesting look at the subculture of wild animals pet ownership. I wonder how many people in Canada own exotic pets that belong in the wild rather than in their homes or backyards?

mmg2681 Mar 27, 2012

A sad, sad movie about when ordinary people take in exotic animals. Owning a pot bellied pig, who was not dangerous, and going through all the trials and tears when he passed, I know how the owner of the lions felt when one lion passed, how heart-wrenching it is to lose an animal you love so dearly, the animal who brought you so much laughter. But we have to think about the animal, for once. The WILD animal should NOT have to be cooped up in a cage. My heart breaks for all of the animals in this movie, and I pray that these exotic animal auctions are put to an end.

Feb 27, 2012

Quite an eye opening look at the raising of exotic pets in the USA. This is an indepth investigation into the problems arising from raising exotic pets and the various legislation and regulation requirements in different states. Quite an underground movement. Eyeopening.

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