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Culture Corner

Scribblings and screenings for the animal set

The Movie That Changed His Mind

Director Michael Webber didn’t set out to make a film with a message. He was simply intrigued by two characters: Tim Harrison, an Ohio police officer who responds to emergencies involving wild animals kept as pets, and Terry Brumfield, a man who considers two African lions members of his family. By the time Webber finished a documentary about the pair, he had an agenda: to outlaw ownership of wild animals as pets. “The film changed me,” Webber says. The Elephant in the Living Room, which was partially funded by The HSUS and won a Genesis award, is now available on DVD, and is all the more relevant following the tragic events in Ohio last autumn.

Interspecies Harmony

Love knows no boundaries—that’s the theme of Unlikely Friendships: 50 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom by Jennifer Holland. The thought-provoking tales of interspecies bonds run the gamut—from a pit bull who cozies up with a ferret (both owned by Laurie Maxwell of The HSUS) to a captive black bear who adopted a stray cat. “It opens your eyes that there’s more going on [with animals] neurologically and emotionally than many people might have realized,” says Holland, a senior writer for National Geographic magazine. “… We can’t always apply a strict scientific explanation.”

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