*Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Last of Us below!*
The giraffe scene in “The Last of Us” — a pivotal and emotional moment that occurs during the post-apocalyptic survival game — was recreated with a real giraffe for Sunday’s season finale of the hit HBO show.
The scene where Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) meet a giraffe in the remains of Salt Lake City was recreated using a “combination of VFX set, landscape and exterior shots with real giraffes from Calgary Zoo”, so the show’s Twitter account.
In the game, the iconic scene symbolizes one of his darkest periods as Ellie begins to recover emotionally after falling into a deep depression. During the heartwarming scene, Joel and Ellie feed the giant animal and make a new friend before continuing their journey.
This moment marks one of the most popular scenes in the game series since its launch nearly a decade ago.
Production Designer John Paino explains why the show’s crew forgot CGI said variety: “I’m sure Alex Wang, visual effects supervisor, could have done a CGI giraffe if we had the time.”
“The coaches worked hard to get it [giraffes] eat from the hands of a stranger. So when Ellie and Joel come to the enclosure, that’s the giraffe eating those food branches,” Paino added.
Many fans who shared their thoughts on Twitter initially assumed that the giraffe was 100% computer generated. However, viewers quickly discovered that nothing was simulated about the towering creature.
On the other hand, some viewers called out the popular scene on social media for not being very similar to the video game.
Last month HBO announced that The Last of Us was filming extended for a second season amid the massive success of the series.