Is The Tiger On The Walking Dead Real?

King Ezekiel’s tiger, Shiva, on The Walking Dead is not real.  The tiger was created using animatronics and CGI.  Animatronics is defined as the use of robotics in mechanized puppets to stimulate life.  It’s considered more effective than CGI because it’s not a stimulation of reality, instead it’s tangible objects moving in real time.

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The Walking Dead‘s special make-up effects supervisor and co-executive producer, Greg Nicotero explains that his team began working on Shiva back in February.  He worked with animatronic animals in the 1990 film, Dances with Wolves.  The 53-year-old was the movies’ buffalo effects supervisor.

Is The Tiger On The Walking Dead Read?
Is The Tiger On The Walking Dead Read?
In the comic, Shiva is introduced in Issue 108.  Sadly, the tiger dies in Issue 118.  Prior to becoming king of The Kingdom, Ezekiel was a zookeeper.  He saves Shiva’s life in the comic.  The tiger attacks him and he doesn’t report the incident.  If he would have reported the attack, Shiva would have been put to sleep.
Animatronics were introduced by Disney in 1964.  Mary Poppins featured an animatronic bird.  Jurassic Park was one of the first films to use both CGI and animatronics.  The Tyrannosaurus Rex in the film was 20 feet tall and 40 feet long.  Jaws was yet another movie that used animatronics which made the sharks look more realistic.