Animal charity drops actor Martin Clunes for riding elephant

Animal charity drops actor Martin Clunes for riding elephant

Actor Martin Clunes has been dropped as a patron by charity Born Free

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Actor Martin Clunes has been dropped as a patron of an animal welfare charity after footage emerged of him riding an elephant.

The Doc Martin star was criticised after climbing on to the creature during last week's episode of ITV programme My Travels And Other Animals.

Following the backlash, charity Born Free has severed ties with Clunes, who had been a patron.

The charity told talkRADIO it would not be giving any interviews at this time, but thanked Clunes for his support in a statement on their website. 

“We can confirm that, with much regret, Martin Clunes is no longer a Patron of Born Free," Born Free wrote.  

“Born Free has always been opposed to the exploitation of captive wild animals for entertainment and human interactions, including riding elephants.

“Martin was a generous and loyal Patron for many years, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for wild animals in need. We thank him for his support and dedication.”

Clunes, 57, is no longer listed on Born Free's website as a celebrity patron, though a cached web page still contains his testimony praising the charity.

A statement attributed to Clunes states: "I like to do whatever I can for Born Free whenever I am asked. I love the Born Free Foundation, it steps in wherever there's an animal facing cruelty, abuse or unfairness of any kind... any animal in any place.

"It's a truly unique resource for wildlife conservation with a knowledge base built on years of work in the field in so many countries with so many different species. You should love it too."

Other celebrity patrons of Born Free include actresses Joanna Lumley and Jenny Seagrove as well as TV presenter Nicky Campbell.

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