Moscow petting zoo sues ad company over 'erotic' raccoon shoot

By Eric DuVall   |   Updated March 16, 2017 at 9:09 PM
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March 16 (UPI) -- A Moscow petting zoo is suing the advertising company that rented a raccoon, saying it was used in an "erotic" shoot with a nude model and now the raccoon is obsessed with women's breasts.

According to legal filings, the zoo rented the raccoon, Thomas, to the video firm Art-Msk in August for what was supposed to be a "normal" photo shoot. When Thomas was returned, the zoo owners said he was traumatized and had become preoccupied with women's breasts. When zoo owners saw the ad footage online, they realized Thomas had been used as a prop by a female model, who held him up to obscure her naked torso.

Zoo official Viktor Kiryukhin accused the directors of giving Thomas treats to lure him closer to the model's breasts, thereby training him to conflate women's breasts with food. He said Thomas' behavior since being returned has unnerved female zoo employees.

Zoo officials demanded the images be removed from the Internet, and filed suit after Art-Msk refused.

The video company called the accusations "absurd," saying the video was not "erotic" and was intended to be broadcast on Russian television, where pornography is prohibited. The studio, which has threatened a counter-suit, said they were told they would be rented a trained animal, but were instead given Thomas, a young raccoon with no training who kept running off the set.

The studio also implied his preoccupation with the female anatomy existed before they rented him, saying he made off with a bra and damaged the garment.

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