"Bones", the hit FOX crime comedy-drama series, is getting ready to once expose its audience to a growing animal rights issue. 


Series showrunner Stephen Nathan recently told TV Line that the upcoming eighth season will feature an episode focusing on the smuggling of endangered animals. 


"It’s a story about smuggling endangered species into the states as pets,” he says. “In fact, what is horrifying is that there are more tigers as pets in Texas than there are in the wild. So we’re doing a story about animal smuggling that takes place in one of those pet expos.”


Fans of the series will recall that during the fifth season, an episode titled "The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken" helped shed light on the atrocities of factory farming. Producers even showed portions of undercover footage from an actual chicken factory farm courtesy of the org Farm Sanctuary. The episode earned widespread praise from animal rights supporters and later went on to propel "Bones" to a 2010 Genesis Award for best dramatic series.


“When someone tells me they stopped eating chicken because of the Bones factory farming episode we did last year, I consider that a small victory," series lead, animal rights supporter, and vegan Emily Deschanel said in 2010.


No doubt this new episode will bring a smile to her face - as well as more accolades for the series. 


Season 8 of "Bones" kicks off on September 17th.


Also on MNN: "Rio" star Jesse Eisenberg wants to save exotic birds

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Bones' to feature animal smuggling episode
Showrunner Stephen Nathan says the plot will revolve around the illegal trade of endangered species for personal pets.