29 April 2008 6:58 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Funnyman Will Ferrell has been urged to stop working with animals after his bear co-star in basketball comedy Semi-pro attacked and killed a trainer in California last week (ends25Apr08).

Activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) originally sent the Elf star a letter in February, after they were alerted to the fact that Ferrell's new film was to feature a grizzly bear.

The actor actually appears to wrestle the bear, Rocky, which fatally bit a trainer in Big Bear, California.

In the missive, they warned Ferrell of both the dangers of working with wild animals on a film set how many of these film 'stars' are cruelly treated.

But the Peta letter, sent to his agents, was ignored.

Now Ferrell is the target of a new Peta campaign.

A spokesman says, "It's pretty rare that people catch a glimpse of the way the animals they see in TV shows or movies are really treated... They're often beaten to perform.

"We're hoping that this incident, sad as it is, will encourage Hollywood actors to take a stand against performing with animals, who want to be movie stars about as much as they want to be stuck in a cage for the rest of their lives.

"We're asking Will Ferrell to pledge never to act with wild animals again."

In the new letter that went out to Ferrell a day after the tragedy hit the headlines last Tuesday, Peta writes, "We know you to be a compassionate person, and we are hoping that this deadly incident will make you have a change of heart about acting with animals in the future."

Peta regular Pamela Anderson is already a fervent campaigner when it comes to keeping animals out of movies - she recently refused to take part in a dog scene that had to be cut from her last film, Superhero Movie, because she refused to act with a trained Labrador.

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