The Elephant In The Living Room

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mason and I watched a documentary last night that I wanted to share. I had never heard of it, but came upon it when looking through the on-demand listings on our tv. It's a documentary called The Elephant In The Living Room. It was absolutely fantastic.

The film is about exotic pets in the United States. There are two men who are focused on, with lots of other stuff in between. The one man, Tim Harrison, is trained as a police officer, fire fighter and EMS (!) and he deals with exotic animal control issues in Ohio. The other man is the owner of two 3 year old African lions in Ohio. The film covers the interactions of these two men as well as the broader issue of exotic pets. In one part the film makers attend an exotic pet expo with Tim Harrison (in street clothes and with a hidden camera, of course) where they have clips of parents of small children purchasing dangerous reptiles, among other things. Harrison actually purchases one snake because it is one of the deadliest snakes in the world and sends it to a research lab where they can use its venom to save lives.

It's sad, horrifying, hopeful, but incredibly complex. And there is a bit of a happy ending, which makes it even more worth your while. In the end, I would definitely recommend it!

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