JOE Exotic is possibly the most famous zoo owners in America thanks to the success of Netflix's docu-series, Tiger King.
Here's the breakdown on the man we now know as the Tiger King.
Who is the Tiger King?
Tiger King is a man who goes by the name Joe Exotic.
58-year-old Joe – who was born Joseph Allen Schreibvogel and later became Joseph Maldonado-Passage – says he had a deep love for cats and soon created a zoo full of wild cats.
He was proudly the face of GW Exotic Animal Park, an Oklahoma ranch that housed more than 1,200 animals including lions, tigers and leopards.
In fact, he claimed to be the most prolific breeder of tigers in the USA and despite insisting that he was working for the conservation of these endangered animals, the documentary highlights why many didn't trust his words.
Joe gained notoriety for his zoo antics, causing his Joe Exotic Persona to grow across the country.
While his private life played out like a reality show thanks to his interesting love life – which saw him marry five different men.
But he soon came under scrutiny for his treatment of the animals by Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin – a self-proclaimed animal rights activist.
The two fast became enemies and traded insult at each other online, in person and in court.
As Carole began to succeed in her quest to prevent him from breeding the big Cats, frustrated Joe reportedly plotted to kill her, an act that would later come back to haunt him.
Where is Joe Exotic now?
In January 2020, Joe was sentenced to 22 years in Federal Prison for a plot to kill the animal Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin.
He received a nine-year sentence for each of his two murder-for-hire convictions and four years for crimes against wildlife, which included trafficking in endangered animals and killing tigers to make more room in the cages at his ramshackle roadside zoo.
Joe is currently being held in Grady County Jail, Oklahoma.
At the time of sentencing, he was 56 years-old, so it is likely he will be let out at almost 80 years of age.
Up to this day, Joe still protests his innocence for the crimes and in a recent statement said: "I still maintain my innocence and look forward in the upcoming days to my attorneys filing my appeal and moving on to the next step in this nightmare.”
What is Tiger King on Netflix about?
Tiger King is a Netflix documentary that brings viewers into the world of a handful of large cat-owners across the US.
Thorough the seven-part docu-series, viewers will be shown the colourful lives and personalities of owners of private zoos.
The star of the series is Tiger King Joe Exotic who was the fascinating story of becoming a private zoo owner due to his love of big cats, to then turning into a would-be murderer and being sentenced to life in prison.
Tiger King was released on March 20, 2020 – so viewers with an interest in animals and bizarre crime stories can tune in now to watch Joe Exotic and his counterparts at work.
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