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April 25, 2011 by · 8 Comments 

Even though it does not bear the American Humane Society’s “no animal was harmed” seal, distributor Focus Features maintains that the caribou that appears to be the victim of Saoirse Ronan’s title character in Hanna was not injured during the production. In the opening sequence of the film, Ronan is seen tracking the animal, bringing it down with a bow and arrow, shooting it in the head, and gutting it. In his review of the movie, which opened two weeks ago, Mick LaSalle wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Either a fine animal was sacrificed in order to make a colossally unimportant movie. Or Creative Artists Agency needs to sign the caribou, because that animal can act.” Following inquiries about the scene, Claudia Vizcaino, a post production assistant at the American Humane Association in Hollywood, viewed the film and contacted Focus Features, which distributed it. In a letter to the AHA, it said, “The animal was not killed. The arrows were CGI [computer-generated images]. Care was taken not to harm the animal.” A spokesperson for the AHA noted that the scenes were filmed in Germany — outside of the AHA’s aegis. “Since there was no legitimate, credible agency there to document the animal action, and as we are the only organization in the world sanctioned to protect the welfare of animals used in filmed media, we simply cannot confirm [Focus Features’ assertion],” it said.