No dragons were harmed in the making of Peter Jackson's upcoming The Hobbit, but some animal handlers are insisting the same can't be said for several horses, goats, chicken, and sheep.
The production has been accused of losing nearly 30 animals housed at a farm filled with bluffs, sinkholes, and other "death traps." In response, Jackson fired off a terse statement arguing that any animal deaths under the production's watch occurred naturally. "Any incidents that occurred ... were immediately investigated and appropriate action taken," he wrote, noting that hundreds of thousands of dollars had been spent on upgrading housing and stable facilities.
The American Humane Association, on set to ensure animal safety, said the complaints will encourage the organization to monitor not just film sets but housing and training facilities as well.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.