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Tyke the elephant documentary premieres at HIFF - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Tyke the elephant documentary premieres at HIFF

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HONOLULU -

So many of us remember that day in August 1994 when Tyke the elephant killed her trainer at the Blaisdell, ran through the streets, then was shot dead.

Now it's back, being highlighted in a documentary called "Tyke Elephant Outlaw." It will premiere Saturday night at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

The documentary’s producer and director Stephan Moore didn't know about Tyke at first. He and his co-producer started off looking to do a film about human relationships with animals.

“That’s how it all started. We were looking at animal law and various things and then we came across Tyke’s story. And the Tyke story is such an incredible story,” Moore said.

The story was also well documented by the Hawaii media and through home video. Moore and his crew interviewed the people who played a role in Tyke's life. They also utilized much of what had been shot in 1994, including Tyke's death.

“We had to think about that very carefully in the edit room. How much of that we are going to include... when we were going to include it in the film," said Moore.

Inga Gibson is with the U.S. Humane Society. She says there is a silver lining in this story.

“Thank goodness Tyke’s death won’t be in vain because Hawaii is now poised to become the first state in the nation to prohibit the dangerous and cruel performing animal acts," said Gibson.

The documentary’s debut at HIFF is timely. This coming Tuesday, the State Board of Agriculture will review the formal rule proposal banning the importation of wild animal acts to Hawaii. It was spurred on by Tyke.

Moore hopes the public,remembering what happened here in 1994, won't be afraid to watch the documentary.

“People should come because this really is a film that teaches us a huge amount, and it’s very redemptive. And if there’s tears at the end, they’re actually tears that I think are happy in some ways," said Moore. "There’s been this awareness and resolution to this situation. So come for an emotional roller coaster, but don’t be afraid of the film."

“Tyke Elephant Outlaw” was awarded Best Documentary at the Portland Film Festival.

The film debuts at HIFF Saturday night at 8:30. It airs twice on Sunday.

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