CBS’ ‘Zoo’ Drops Abusive Tiger Exhibitor After PETA Video Exposé

Tiger-Beating Michael Hackenberger Loses Hollywood Job

For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2016

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Bowmanville, Ontario – CBS has confirmed to PETA that network series Zoo has dropped plans to hire Bowmanville Zoo owner Michael Hackenberger after a PETA eyewitness video documented that he swore at and whipped a young Siberian tiger up to 20 times, causing the animal’s anal sacs to release out of fear.

“Michael Hackenberger’s relentless abuse of a juvenile tiger has cost him a high-profile Hollywood job,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “With realistic and versatile computer-generated imagery so widely available, there’s no excuse for live animals to be exploited for film and television shows like Zoo.”

In December, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”— released video footage in which Hackenberger describes his cruel training methods, says that punishment is the only way to force an animal to perform, and boasts, “You smack ’em and they generally fold like a house of cards. … And that’s the beauty of these things.”

Hackenberger—who has supplied animals for numerous TV shows and films, such as Life of Pi and The Interview—previously came under fire for verbally abusing a baboon on live television.

Broadcast-quality video footage is available here. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind