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File this under news you don't hear about every day.
A petting zoo in Moscow, which occasionally rents out animals to filmmakers, has filed a lawsuit against a studio after that studio allegedly rented a raccoon and made an "erotic video." At least, according to the zoo that loaned them the animal.
Viktor Kiryukhin, a spokesman representing the zoo, told the BBC that when Thomas (which is the name of the raccoon) came back to them he was "traumatized" and apparently super attracted to women's breasts.
Art-Msk (which is the name of the studio) responded by calling the lawsuit "absurd," and further stated the raccoon stole a woman's bra on their set. The company is responsible for shooting video clips for commercials, and said that though they requested a trained animal they got Thomas instead who, in their words, "was young and ran off all the time."
The zoo claims the original deal was for Thomas to appear in a "regular" ad. But then they said they saw him in a social media post with a naked model, which led to them trying to get all the related photos and videos taken down. The production company did not comply with their request, and so the zoo put together a lawsuit demanding compensation instead. This originally happened back in October, and the zoo has renewed their request because no action has been taken since then.
Art-Msk, for their part, contends that the shoot wasn't erotic, because an erotic film would be illegal on federal television.
Viktor Kiryukhin instead argues that Thomas's behavior has been bizarre, and has freaked out female zoo staff since he returned from the shoot. He claims the film people must have gotten him into human boobs by "[putting] out some treats for him, so he associated breasts with a treat."
A nature conservation group heard of the zoo's case, and they're now backing them.
In response, Art-Msk's Valery Bogatov has threatened to level a countersuit, where they would demand compensation for the aforementioned bra that Thomas allegedly damaged.
Russian media has also raised the possibility that the entire suit is a publicity stunt for the zoo, and they reasoned that based upon savvy social media hashtags like #interestingmoscow and #scandal that the zoo has peppered their official statements with.