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Humane association investigates shark death during Kmart commercial


The shark was placed into a 227 litre outdoor tank in the Van Nuys suburb of Los Angeles to prepare for filming the commercial.

The American Humane Association has employed an independent investigator after a shark died while being used to film a Kmart commercial in Los Angeles.

The 5-foot white-tipped shark died March 6 in an above-ground tank in a Van Nuys backyard, AP reported.

Days earlier the shark had been shipped from New York to LA.

According to the LA Times, the shark became stressed in the tank and was injected with adrenaline and received oxygen from a trainer but, after being taken to Long Beach for examination by a specialist, it died.

Reuters reported the American Humane Association (AHA), which certifies film and television productions with animals, had a representative at the scene of the shoot.

It oversaw the filming and said the shark's safety was paramount. 

The incident follows longstanding criticism of the use of animals in Hollywood productions. 

The Ethical Treatment of Animals had claimed the shark became distressed when actors jumped in the pool, but the AHA rejected this assertion, stating nobody went into the pool with the shark.

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A statement Friday from Sears Holdings, which owns Kmart, said the shark was not mistreated.

It is conducting its own investigation in what led to the death.