Close
BRAND NEW ON E!
  • EXCLUSIVE!

    News/ 

    Nicole Richie Wedding Elephant? Not Cool, Say Animal Rights Groups

    Nicole Richie, Joel Madden, Asian elephant John Shearer/WireImage.com; TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images

    Hey, Nicole Richie—was that an elephant at your wedding or were you just happy to see us?

    As everyone knows by now, the celebutante became Mrs. Joel Madden on Saturday. She and the Good Charlotte rocker tied the knot on dad Lionel Richie's massive estate, in a lavish ceremony attended by 130 of the couple's closest friends and family.

    But not everyone was amused to see a giant pachyderm turn up:

    MORE: Five things you need to know about Nicole Richie's wedding

    In what could've been a scene straight out of a Bollywood musical, E! News cameras caught handlers escorting the animal into the compound. It was intended as a surprise from Lionel to his daughter on her big day.

    The first to weigh in was People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a group that Nicole has supported in the past. The ex-Simple Life star tweeted last July her solidarity with its campaign to stop Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from abusing its elephants.

    "We're sure she didn't know that Have Trunk Will Travel—the company that likely provided Tai the elephant, who was taken from the wild as a baby more than 40 years ago—trains its elephants with bullhooks and electric shock prods," read a statement from the group. "We're writing to her privately to respectfully ask her to keep exotic animals off her guest lists for future celebrations."

    PETA wasn't the only one none too pleased.

    "If, as news reports state, Nicole Richie indeed really likes elephants, then the last thing that she should do is force one of these majestic and sentient animals to perform for her amusement," Liz Tyson, director of UK-based The Captive Animals' Protection Society, told E! News.

    Sources tell E! that the 29-year-old socialite has "always been obsessed with elephants" ever since she was a kid.

    A rep for Nicole Richie has so far not replied to an email seeking comment.

    We can only assume her pop star pop wasn't thinking about how these animals are often treated—and just wanted to make daddy's little girl happy, right?

    PHOTOS: Celeb weddings we can't wait for

    FROM AROUND THE WEB
    MORE ON EONLINE

    RELATED VIDEOS: