We were so sad yesterday about the white-tipped shark that died after being shipped across the country to star in a Kmart commercial shoot that we weren’t even able to make any jokes about the company jumping the shark. And when we skip obvious puns, the sadness is real. Plenty of our readers expressed sadness on Twitter recently, and it seems that somber feeling goes for Kmart, as well.
Consumerist received the following statement from a Kmart spokesman on the ill-fated shark:
“We take this matter very seriously: safety is always our paramount concern. Our agency and production company responsible for the shoot worked with professional animal handlers and a representative of the American Humane Association – which was responsible for monitoring the shark’s welfare was onsite during the shoot. The AHA says the animal was not being mistreated and steps were taken to ensure its safety on set. We are following up with our ad agency and the production company to find out why this happened so it doesn’t happen again. We are saddened by this incident.”
The PETA animal specialist who called attention to the shark’s death told ABC News today that after the shark had been in an above-ground pool in a Los Angeles backyard for hours, several people were jumping in and out of the water.
“Sharks have exceptional sensory systems, and can detect low-frequency movement. It was possibly over-stimulated, scared and not used to humans,” she said.
But the American Humane Association denies that telling of events, calling PETA’s claims “completely inaccurate.” A spokeswoman says people weren’t jumping in and out of the pool, and that the AHA rep said it should be examined by an aquatic vet as soon as it showed signs of stress.
Wherever he is, we hope he’s swimming free and staying far away from above-ground pools.