Netflix's 'Tiger King' follows the life and crimes of gay zoo keeper Joe Exotic

Once a zoo owner and former presidential candidate, Joe is now serving a hefty prison sentence.

A flamboyantly dressed man with bleached hair and a moustache embraces a tiger inside a cage

Warning: spoilers ahead!

The newest instalment into Netflix’s ever-growing catalogue of true crime documentaries is the fascinating case of Joe Exotic. ‘Tiger King’ follows the life and crimes of  Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Schreibvogel Maldonado-Passage, who once called himself the king of the seedy underworld of the exotic animal trade, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this eccentric criminal. 

Before his incarceration, Joe ran the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, a private facility located in Oklahoma used for breeding a large collection of tigers, lions and other big cats. That’s not all Joe did, however, the proud “gun-toting gay redneck” also ran for US president in 2016, and earlier this year was sentenced to 22 years in prison for plotting to kill an animal rights activist, along with other wildlife violations.

The seven-part series follows Joe’s fall from success, in both his personal and professional life after immense public scrutiny for his suspected animal rights violations and the accidental death of one of his husbands. Travis Maldonado, who was one of the five men that polygamist Joe married, passed away in 2017 after accidentally shooting himself in the private zoo’s gift shop. 

Things only got worse from this point on, with the private zoo owner eventually being incarcerated for the attempting to arrange the murder of animal rights activist Carole Baskin. Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue, had been engaged in multiple legal battles with Joe who often publicly mocked and threatened her, including even in his presidential campaign video. 

Joe, who is currently being held in Grady County Jail, Oklahoma is just three months into his 22-year sentence, meaning that on the time of his scheduled release he will be almost 80 years old. Despite all the evidence against him, Joe Exotic vehemently denies the charges brought against him and claims he is innocent.

For anyone interested in watching the true-crime docu-series to curb some of that self-isolation boredom, ‘Tiger King’ is available to watch on Irish Netflix right now!

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