CBS drama Zoo has been criticised by animal rights organisation PETA for the exploitation of animals. The American television series comprises violent animal attacks on humans that occur all over the world, and features real animals including lions.
When the series premiered on 30 June 2015 on the network, Brittany Peet – Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement – released a statement on PETA's website the day before, advising the show should use CGI animals after reading reports about producers showing wild animals whenever possible.
She said: "Lions belong in the wild, not confined to tiny cages and forced to perform tricks, often under the threat of beatings. CBS should employ only humane and versatile computer-generated imagery, as so many other productions have done. PETA hopes Zoo will be one of this summer's first cancellations."
A year on, Zoo has returned and PETA still believes that the show has not changed its ways. The animal rights group has had an advertisement published in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal featuring a computer-generated chimpanzee with its hands tied with film strips. The strapline reads: "Some Shows Hold More Than an Audience Captive. CBS: Use CGI to Free All Animals From 'Zoo'".
PETA's Senior Vice President Lisa Lange also wrote a post on the organisation's website discussing the issue. She said: "If Darren Aronofsky's Noah and Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book can create entire realistic animal kingdoms with CGI, then CBS can clearly make its show without exploiting any live animals.
"PETA is calling on the network to switch entirely to affordable, accessible, humane and versatile technology - and stop using animals who are caged, whipped and denied everything that's natural and important to them.
"Last season, despite PETA's efforts, Zoo used big cats, a bear, wolves and two baboons, among many other animals," she added.
Zoo is based on the 2012 thriller novel of the same name by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. It was renewed for a second season in December and stars James Wolk and Kristen Connolly.
IBTimes UK is awaiting comments from CBS.