‘The Walking Dead’ Nabs PETA US Innovation in Television Award for Using ‘Magic’ Not Animals

For Immediate Release:
28 July 2016

Olivia Jordan +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]


Series Uses CGI and Animatronics to Bring Zombie-Eating Tiger to Life

London – The Walking Dead Season 7 trailer hit San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, and whilst comic book fan-favourite King Ezekiel made his on-screen debut, all eyes were on his zombie-eating tiger sidekick, Shiva. Showrunners were quick to point out that Shiva was created with animatronics and computer-generated imagery. “So there’s no real tiger at all, it’s all magic”, series creator Robert Kirkman told fans.

The move – which comes as network CBS is under fire for using numerous wild animals, including a tiger and a polar bear, in its series Zoo – has netted The Walking Dead an Innovation in Television Award from PETA US.

“By choosing the excitement of cutting-edge technology instead of captive animals, The Walking Dead has won the respect of everyone who objects to condemning wild animals to live chained and in cages as well as making them perform under the threat of a whip”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA will press television and film producers to follow the show’s compassionate lead.”

More than 60,000 people have written to CBS to demand that Zoo stop using wild animals. Last season, the show used big cats, a bear, wolves, and two baboons, among many other animals. CBS dropped plans to use infamous trainer Michael Hackenberger only after PETA US – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – alerted producers that he had been caught on camera mercilessly whipping a tiger. Hackenberger has since been charged with five counts of cruelty to animals.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk