Big Cat

Netflix original documentary Tiger King dropped Friday March 20, 2020.

#TigerKing is based on true events.

rottentomatoes: 93%

metacritic: 75

imdb: 7.9

Joe Exotic, Tiger King, Netflix, Joseph ShreibvogelJoe Exotic, Tiger King, Netflix, Joseph ShreibvogelJoe Exotic

Joseph Shreibvogel owns and operates the G.W. Zoo outside of 2012 Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

Joe Exotic, Tiger King, Netflix, Joseph Shreibvogel“Let me show and tell the whole thing.  Because then you’ll get it.  Then you’ll say, ‘Jesus fucking Christ!  Why are you in jail?’  Joe Exotic.  Do you know what they threatened me with?  Seventy-nine years.  I went to work every day prepared to die in a tiger cage.  Dying doesn’t scare me.  At all.” — Joe Exotic

“Come here, you sexy beast!  When Ieave this park, I wear a bulletproof vest.  That is how bad this has gotten.” — Joe Exotic

“Oh, little girl.  Oh, you don’t want me to take it off.  Your whole audience will say, ‘oh, my god, that guy has a mullet!'” — Joe Exotic

“Jamotti!  Jamotti, my sexy tiger!  These were grown up in my house, yup.  We’ve got, like, eight of ’em in there now.  People, every day, they’re like… ‘you must have the most incredible life, to live with 187 big cats.’  I started building this in 1999.  Believe it or not, this was a completely empty field.  In over 16 years, it’s grown into this.  My name is Joe Exotic and this is Thunder and Lightning!  The only difference between my pet and your pet is mine have three-inch teeth, and they weigh 400 pounds.  Does it feel good to stand on my stage with 500-pound tigers and everybody envy you?  Absolutely.  Okay?  I would be the biggest liar if I said no.  Now, stop.  That’s a brand-new shirt, now quit it!  There is a very emotional connection between me and these cats.  Extreme.  That’s his deal right now.  I mean, his whole deal is about just wanting– petted and loved, you know?  They’re so affectionate and fond– well, they’re two boys.  We have a very open relationship here.  We do not discriminate here.” — Joe Exotic

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I can assure you’re going to get closer to tigers and lions here than you would anywhere in the world.  Matter of fact, you’re gonna get so close I can almost promise you some of you will be urinated on.  If that happens, we have t-shirts in the gift shop that says, ‘I got peed on by a tiger.'” — Joe Exotic

“Do the dance!  I love you so much!  No.  Come on.  I’m going to try and get some good shots.  So make sure y’all get me some promo pictures in there.  No, I want you up front with a still camera.  ♪ Woke up this morning with the sunshine in my eyes ♪ It’s funny how a smile can change The words you want to say ♪.  Come here, love me!  Come here, love me!  Hello, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to  On the internet.  Worldwide.  Every night at six o’clock.  Pretty cool.  Come on in.” — Joe Exotic

“Yeah, years ago!  See ya Monday night, right here!  One thing you’re forgetting out there, you animal rights people, and especially Carole Baskin– and that’s Carole Baskin down at Big Cat rescue.  It was all part of Carole Baskin’s plan when– …paid it to Carole Baskin.  Carole Baskin is so influential.  That Carole Baskin– and Carole Baskin… since 2006, we’ve been in a pissing match over tigers.  I kept to myself.  I did my own thing.  And I picked up an Oklahoma newspaper one day and here’s this story about this trashy little roadside zoo.  And it was me!  Her whole plan is to get her following to believe that we’re abusing tigers and running us all out of business.” — Joe Exotic

“And this is the Tiger King gift shop, where I have all of my stuff.  We got honey, we got barbecue sauce, we have steak sauce, skin cream.  I have sex gel for you and her!  The best seller out of this gift shop is actually Tiger King underwear line.  People just go crazy over ’em because they’re all in animal print.  I don’t wear underwear.  No, freeball it.  I’ve been on the cover of Hollywood Magazine twice.  I have my first two albums that I did.  This is my first album, I Saw A Tiger, and this is my second album, Starstruck. And there’s 28 songs and 16 music videos.  ♪ ‘Cause I saw tiger Now I understand ♪ I saw tiger And the tiger saw man ♪ I tell all the hunters To lay down their guns ♪ When I first met Joe, I was like a month out of high school.” — Joe Exotic

“He’s taught me quite a bit as far as being able to market the zoo and make money at the zoo.  All right, so, we’re gonna make sure everybody standing up gets your turn to come down here and love on this baby tiger ’cause that’s what you came here for.  The animal rights people like to bitch at you that cub petting is abuse, okay.  In my opinion, it’s the best education tool.  And keep in kind, in the rain forest, there’s no escalators.  All right?  You know, people only care about saving what affects them.  So you set a baby tiger in a family’s lap and they fall in love with this baby tiger, and you have 15 minutes of their undivided attention to say, ‘look, we gotta save the rain forest because you’re killing this little baby tiger’s… you know, where he came from.’  They leave with a whole different attitude.” — Joe Exotic

“I can feed a tiger for $3,000 a year.  I have 227.  Just feeding ’em.  We work our ass off in order to drop that price.  We have feed lots that give us five to seven cows a day… that die in the feed lots.  The game wardens and the highway patrol call us any time that a cow or a deer gets hit on the highway.  If I was to feed nothing but cows, I would need 30 cows a day.  This was actually me and my brother’s dream, you know.  In 1997, he was moving my sister from Dallas to Florida and he made it 40 miles.  And a drunk semi driver hit him.  My brother.  Yup.  Yep.  So when I signed the papers to shut his life support machine off I promised him that he would just not be a statistic… that the people of the world would know who he is.  And that’s when the GW Exotic Animal Foundation was born, in his memory.  My brother, he’s an angel now.  I went to schools and I talked to them about drugs and alcohol.  But I couldn’t keep their attention, okay?  So I took animals.  What do we say to drugs?  We say no to drugs, that’s right.  Because drugs will make your teeth fall out, and you get really ugly and you don’t have any friends.  Animals just wasn’t enough, okay?  So then I started adding magic.  My real name is Joe Shreibvogel.  I go by Joe Exotic ’cause nobody ever knows how to say it right anyway.” — Joe Exotic

“Today we have a Siberian Tiger, an Indochinese Tiger, a two-toed sloth, a black panther… look at me!  Awesome.  And they stalk every move you make.  Doesn’t matter where you are in the country.  One of the most popular adventures here at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is a ticket for you, and that’s private playtime with a baby tiger.” — Joe Exotic

“The toenails you gotta watch because they rip your face.  Grandma?  Six weeks.  From the time that they’re four weeks old to the time that they’re 16 weeks old, you can profit $100,000 on that cub.  Interaction, playtime, photos.” — Joe Exotic

“I’m Joe Exotic and this is Sarge.  It is a ticking time bomb if somebody thinks they’re gonna walk in here and take my animals away.  It’s going to be a small Waco.  It’s a very powerful statement because I have poured my entire life into what I do.  Nobody is gonna walk in here and freely shut me down and take my rights away from me as long as I am not breaking the law.” — Joe Exotic

“Right here.  this is the thing you don’t want when you have tigers, folks.  It’s a real life tornado, and there ain’t nothin’ you can do besides protect yourself.  If you’re an animal rights person, and you try to come into this facility, this is what you’re going to be greeted with.  This is my little town.  I’m the mayor, the prosecutor, the cop, and the executioner.” — Joe Exotic

“What kinda camera guy are you?  Oh, fuck yeah!  I have defended myself since 2006 against People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  Carole Baskin is supported by the help of PETA to the point that they’ve actually made me a target now.” — Joe Exotic

“People.  Not the cats.  I’d shoot you before I shot my cat.  We have 24-hour armed guards, three of us wear firearms.  That is how bad this has gotten.  This guy has been videotaping.  And we warned him twice.  And he claims he’s with PETA.  Main thing is– she’s got tens of thousands of people out there brainwashed that we’re abusing animals.  I just called her a plain-out hypocrite.  You’re open to the public.  You’re doing boat tours, night tours, day tours, kid tours, kid camps, weddings.  You name it.  It’s a moneymaker for them.  If you’re not fucking exploiting animals at that point, what the hell are you doing?  Carole Baskin, yup, that lady profits over 1.5 million dollars suckin’ on your heartstrings about shit on the internet that ain’t even true!  I got a big mouth and a television station.  It seems to be.  Why would you give to a facility to rescue animals to live in luxurious cages.  Well, how about that one?  That mountain lion is sticking his head through a hole in the fence in order to drink out of a– I consider that bitch to be one of the biggest terrorists in the exotic animal world right now.  It is financially draining to fight this woman.” — Joe Exotic

“For Carole… and all of her friends that are watching out there, before you bring me down… it is my belief… that you will stop breathing.  We hear it’s Carole’s birthday next month.  And we’re shipping her two of these!  Look at the fangs on that!  Happy birthday, Carole.” — Joe Exotic

“A hundred rounds of .223.  There, I’ve got every animal rights person all in one row.  Dynamite.  Ready?  Aim… fire.” — Joe Exotic

“Joe Exotic.  I’m in a cage.  Do you know why animals die in cages?  Their soul dies.  I’m not gonna be accused an go to prison, and I lose everything I have for things that other people did.  Before this is over with, I’m gonna shut down everybody.” — Joe Exotic

Carole Baskin, Tiger King, NetflixCarole Baskin

“Our mission is to ban the private possession of these magnificent animals.” — Carole Baskin

“Hi, I’m Carole Baskin and I’m the founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue.  We’re the world’s largest accredited sanctuary that is devoted entirely to caring for big cats.  If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that big cats don’t belong in cages.” — Carole Baskin

“More like this?  You want me to get down, so you’ve got this cat?  This is Joseph the lion, and he came from a facility in Ohio… I really believe in life that you can only be good at one thing.  He’s gonna get nasty with me.  With saving the cats, it’s one thing that I can fix if I can just stay focused on that.  So I don’t read the newspaper, I don’t watch news on television unless there’s a cat involved.  We’re headed to Cameron and Zaboo.  She’s saving the very best part for last ’cause they love the turkey necks.  This is Bengali, an old circus tiger.  You can see how they go from being so sweet to just wanting to tear your face off, and they could do it like that, and it’s like, ‘oh!  That’s amazing to have that kind of range and that speed!’  I live, eat, and breathe ending the captivity of wild cats.  And I know that I’m gonna see this through to the end.  What really sets apart Big Cat Rescue from a zoo is that we are fixing the problem, they are creating the problem.  People like Joe Exotic, what they are doing is breeding cats for life in cages.  A tiger needs 400 square miles of territory in the wild.  So there’s no cage that’s going to be sufficient.  But the reason that we have cats in cages is to provide them a safe place to live until they die.  This was our oldest cat.  Black Mamba was a jaguar, Oakie was an ocelot, Champlaine was a Canada lynx.  You’re following me again.  You wanna lead?  You can read plaques too.  You’re so wonderful.” — Carole Baskin

“The very first image that my parents had of me in the cradle, it was me and the cat.  I’d never been a person that had friends, and so my friends were two imaginary white cats.  I’ve always had cats in my life, and I’ve always felt a certain affinity toward them.  I’m actually allergic to cats, so my entire house is like, you know, tile floors, no curtains, metal furniture, that sort of thing.  That is cat print.  That was a gift.  This I actually had painted.  Most of what I wear are cat prints.  It’s almost a uniform.  When I go in to talk with a legislator, if I go in there dressed head to toe in cat prints, people remember, ‘oh, that’s the person that’s gonna be all over my case about why cats need to be protected.’  It’s always easy to find my luggage when I get off the plane.  I think it’s a great look.” — Carole Baskin

“Three, two, one.  John’s a strong, silent type.  A man of few words.  But what a hunk.  At the age of 13, I knew I was gay.  And I had a bad time struggling with it.  When my father found out, he made me shake his hand in front of my mom and promise not to come to his funeral.  So, I had a real issue dealing with that, and one night I drove my car off a bridge.  I broke my back… and spent five years in braces.  I went to Florida to do my therapy… and my neighbor was the manager of Lion Country Safari.  And he brought home all the baby lions and baby monkeys and stuff at night to bottle feed.  And that’s where my attraction to exotic animals really started in.  What?  I know that they have a heart and a soul and a mind.  I’ve learned from them, and they do therapy for me.  Let’s see your foot, sexy lion!  But the animal rights people, they keep sayin’ I can’t have these tigers.” — Carole Baskin

“And be proud of it.  Anybody who poses with an exotic cat is a problem.  It just drives more and more breeding of these cats who will never live free.  Wild animals have been brought onto the late-night shows.  And when people see that, they want to emulate it.” — Carole Baskin

“People who pimp out tiger cubs can only use them from the time that they’re a few weeks old until they’re about 12 weeks old, and when they get to be that age, they can take a finger off.  There are enough ignorant people out there who will then take in that tiger and a year later, that cat’s two or three hundred pounds and they’re calling us saying, ‘please get this out of my house.’  At the same time, there’s almost no government regulation of private possession, which I believe is leading to the unbelievable number of these cats in captivity.  We have a tiger crisis in this country.  Zanesville really woke up the public about the fact that there could be dangerous wild animals living right next door to them and they didn’t even know it.  I believe that there are a number of ticking time bombs out there, and when those places implode and somebody does something crazy, that will probably push our legislation forward.” — Carole Baskin

“If you’re taking pictures and stuff, it’d be great if you would use the hashtag ‘BigCatRescue,’ so you can find us out there.  go ahead and open the gates and go see some cats.  These tickets sold out really fast, and so we’re so happy to see all you guys.  These guys are checking out Max and Mary-Anne.  Stop it, you’re going to make me cry.” — Carole Baskin

“They are always trying to upset me on social media.  To get a little bit of background on Joe, all you gotta do is got to  We got undercover video of him using a 20-week-old cub that jumped on this little boy and bit him on the leg.  There shouldn’t have to be a place that rescues big cats from abuse in this country.  What we’re asking you to do is champion the Big Cat Public Safety Act.  One day I went out to open up the mailbox and it just exploded with snakes.  There are crazy people out there who want to see me dead.  What… keeps me up at night is worrying about them hurting a family member to get to me.” — Carole Baskin

Bhagavan Antle, Tiger King, NetflixBhagavan Antle

“Hi, little man.  A look at that big smile.  There you go.  Show them claws.” — Bhagavan Antle

“He’s a completely insane, gay, gun-toting, drug-addict fanatic.” — Bhagavan Antle

“There’s a war in America that’s being fought for an enormous amount of money.  The animal rights activists, they want the lion’s share, and they don’t want to share their lions.  Fifty acres makes up the preserve here.  We’re gonna film, you know– this is my crib here.  Go to the front door and I’ll go open it and say, ‘hi.  How you doing?  Come in.’  Okay?  How you doing, guys?  Doing good.  Come on in.  This is Swami Satchindananda, my grandfather guru who– a guy I lived with since I was a teenager.  All right, so I am Dr. Bhagavan Antle.  B-h-a-g-a-v-a-n.  Antle, A-n-t-l-e.  Dr. Bhagavan Antle.  I am the director of the Myrtle Beach Safari and the rare species fund.  Good afternoon, guys.  This is my little girl, Bubbles!  Look at the pictures there.  That really is Bubbles and I as kids together.  You can see somehow both of us got way bigger over the years.  I have been building this incredible preserve for people to have an interactive, up-close, uncaged experience with wildlife.  To see an animal going to chase that high-speed lure, diving into that crystal-clear pool… people become wildly stimulated at seeing that amazing stuff up close and uncaged.  I am popular, I am so well known as big cat guy around the world, that people who are against people having relationships with animals, period, want to destroy me because I am out there in the forefront so known of being this guy that is in love with big cats and has them love him back.” — Bhagavan Antle

“We believe these incredible, up-close experiences makes a connection between them and the wild world, opening their hearts and their wallets, for us to do our worldwide conservation work.  Three-thirty-nine is the start price, right?  There’s people that paid 625, 655 for their tours today.  ‘Cause it’s dynamic price like an airline ticket.  The price goes up according to how many people are coming on.  We charge a premium because it costs so much to do proper care.  We feed super quality food that anyone would be glad to eat themselves.  It’s a minimum of $10,000 a year to feed each tiger.” — Bhagavan Antle

“This way.  Hold it against your breast.  Now look at me, how young I am there on Letterman.  Man!  Go back, go back!  We might as well do Letterman real quick.  Here I am long ago on The Late Show with David Letterman.  I’ve got my big black panther there, Shadow.  Jay brought us out into the forefront of people, he got to meet my animals like no one else had ever done.  The world’s biggest cat coming on there, baby tigers, cheetahs, leopards, everybody out there.  Enough?  Here I am in costume playing Marvelous Bhagavan, the magic man.  And the cubs played themselves.  I don’t remember a time where it wasn’t anything I was doing, having animals in my life.  I grew up a professional cowboy in a family of professional cowboys.  That led me along to be able to have a quality life of a lot of interaction with amazing domestic and wild animals.  I moved to Yogaville in Buckingham, Virginia.  I started immersing myself in that life and I saw the incredible power of presenting the animals without barriers, without caging, so that you can really get to see them in all of their power and glory.  People in Hollywood, people other places came to me and said, ‘hey, we need a tiger to do this.  We would like a tiger to do that.’  I made 500 gigantic international movies, from Ace Ventura, Jungle Book, Dr. Doolittle, Mighty Joe Young… I mean, it’s a huge list of features that we made.  Did you get your picture taken?  No?  Keep coming, keep coming.” — Bhagavan Antle

“It’s not that having lions and tigers is bad unto itself.  It is the way he took care of them that made it take place.  Properly managed wildlife can become a great tool for wildlife education, like…” — Bhagavan Antle

“I sleep with an AK-47 under my mattress.  Loaded, ready to roll.  Carole, PETA, those characters want to attack everyone.  Carole wants to be the last man standing.  There can only be one, and it has to be her.  She’s ruthless.  Most of us are not ruthless.  People who really love animals are rarely ruthless.  The Big Cat Safety Act, if passed, it will destroy private zoos across America.” — Bhagavan Antle

Rick Kirkham, Tiger King, NetflixRick Kirkham

“I guess at the beginning somewhere.  It was a crazy beginning.  Mmm.  Crazy.  She wanted to shut down the zoo.  And he wanted her gone.  He wasn’t real.  He was like a mythical character, living out in the middle of Bumfuck, Oklahoma.” — Rick Kirkham

“The people who worked for Joe were misfits, and they were a family.  It was a place where all these misfits could come together, and be with the King of Misfits, who reigned over them.” — Rick Kirkham

“Joe had been doing these internet broadcasts, either on a regular basis or periodically, for probably a decade or longer before I got there.  He never had more than 80 people watching the thing live.  When I walked in, I had all this experience.  I had a national reputation.” — Rick Kirkham

“Hey, Mike, get the charcoal!  You know, I’ve done a lot of shit in my life, but I’ve never experienced anything like Joe Exotic.  He knew that I could make him famous.  I took it to a new level because I made it look like a real TV show.  Man, if he ever had an enemy in his life, it was Carole Baskin.  In my opinion, Carole Baskin was as bad as Joe.  They were both, you know, taking advantage of exotic animals to make money.  So, to me, it was just a feud.  Carole would now and then put up something online about how Joe’s breeding and he’s bad and all this.  And he would go off on his internet show.  It was just a… hate.  He has hate for Carole Baskin.  Nasty hate.” — Rick Kirkham

Eric Goode, Tiger King, NetflixEric Goode

“Where do you want to start?  What was the beginning?  When I started this project, I had no idea it would consume five years of my life.  It all began when I was investigating a notorious reptile dealer in South Florida.  A guy showed yup one day wanting to buy a venomous snake.  When he was leaving, he said, ‘check out what I just bought.’  In the back of this guy’s van was a snow leopard.  Oh, shit!  It was 100 degrees outside.  Do they need to be refrigerated?  You know, ’cause they– are these as rare as the clouded leopard?  It just blew my mind.  What is a snow leopard doing in the back of this guy’s hot van?  That set me on this journey to really understand what is going on with people keeping big cats in this country.” — Eric Goode

“I like it off.  No, I like it.  I like it.  You raised these from babies? Do you have a sense of bonding with them, or do you have a– ooh.  Is there, like an emotional connection between you and these cats?  Are these trying to mate?  Oh, they’re two boys.  Where does your TV show air?” — Eric Goode

“Oh, she’s dressed perfectly.  Yeah, that’s great, thank you.  Okay, go ahead.  Where are we headed?  Carole, tell me about this room, ’cause everything has a certain pattern.  And this?  And this?  And– Carole, you even have cut luggage!” — Eric Goode

“Sex gel?  Do you wear these yourself?  You don’t wear underwear?  Oh.  Wow.  Good idea.  I like that Doc is better at directing than we are.  Hey.  Hi, it’s Eric Goode.  How are you?  Good to see you.  Thanks.” — Eric Goode

“What is the cost of admission here?” — Eric Goode

“You’ve got how many tigers now?  So you’re spending… three quarters of a million feeding your tigers?  Who’s this?  That’s the one that– and that works.” — Eric Goode

“Carole’s taking a nap.” — Eric Goode

John Reinke, Tiger King, NetflixJohn Reinke

“Animal people are nuts, man.  And I might be one of them people.  I don’t know, but they’re half-out there, man.  They’re crazy.  You know, there’s not every day that a zookeeper went to prison for murder-for-hire.  I’m sure y’all got a story to tell.”

“I’ve been the manager at the G.W. Zoo for 14 years now.  Most of the staff was unique.  That’s what I thought was really cool about the zoo.  And then there’s Joe.  Didn’t Johnny Carson used to smoke on the set of the Tonight Show?”

“We did a show every night and I want to say nine out of ten shows was about the animal rights people and Carole down in Florida.”

“Joe wanted to be so much like Doc Antle, he sent several of us up there to see his facilities, so we can do the same in his place.  They would research it, find the owners of the mall and email them, text ’em, call ’em, send the media out there, everything.  Just hammer ’em.”

“You know, after the Waco deal, me and Joe made a pact.  If anything went bad, we were gonna shoot each other.  And then that day… I put our names on our bullets right here.  I have my names and his name on a bullet.”

“They think that animals are being beat everywhere they go.  We didn’t beat tigers at our zoo.  We sure got accused of it.  Have you got a tiger in a zoo in a cage?  Yeah.  How are you gonna keep him from running downtown and going to 7-Eleven?  Joe started bashing her.  She started bashing him.  You know, getting the mall shows cancelled.  And she put up billboards, and she made this 911 animal abuse site.  Joe was one of the top contenders in it.  It got pretty ugly.”

James Garretson, Tiger King, NetflixJames Garretson

“You know, the monkey people are a little bit different.  You know, they’re kinda strange, but the big cat people are back-stabbing… pieces of shit.”

Erik Cowie

“All right, everybody, what I need you guys to do is walk down the fence line here.  Follow Katrina.  We’re gonna introduce you to your first dangerous animal.”

“I’m kind of embarrassed to say it, but when I got here, I was on kind of the end of my ropes.  I found this place on Craigslist and I was like, ‘man!  I never done this shit before.  What the fuck?  Let’s go!’  And now look at me!  I’m doing tiger shows!”

“♪ I’m a baby tiger Short and stout ♪ This is my tail And this is my mouth ♪ I’m gonna bite you And it’s gonna hurt ♪ So why will I bite you?  Because I’m a jerk ♪.  That’s it.”

“Those people are fucking insane, man.  Actually, they scare me.”

Kelci Saffery

“Joe is an entertainer by nature.  He was pretty much the star of his own show.  Meeting him in person definitely solidified that.  For Joe, the zoo was his stage.  It was the one place he could shine.  He could control any aspect of it.  From the start of the day to the end of the day, he filmed everything.  He had this live TV show that he would do for a number of his followers.”

“That would pay the bills for the winter sometimes.  So it was definitely a big loss for us.  But Joe always found a way to make money.”

Howard Baskin

“I think it would be fair to say that Carole is the Mother Teresa of cats.”

“In addition to Joe, the most notorious… cub breeder/petting operation is Doc Antle.  Antle is much more sophisticated, much smarter.  He’s fearless.”

“Joe was taking tiger cubs, stick ’em in a semi, and carting them to malls all throughout the Midwest.  We started a program where we would contact the malls and explain to them why this was bad.  Years ago, when Carole first started doing this, we might generate 500 emails… yeah.  And as our online audience grew and our supporter base grew, this gradually got up to thousands of emails.  Sometimes as many as five or six thousand emails.  And one by one, these malls started refusing to have him back.”

John Finlay

“I was with Joe from 2003 to 2014, so 11 years.  He showed me love and I learned how big my heart was.  And how much to care.  Are you gettin’ this?”

“He’d put on a magic show, which actually was pretty cool.  He would use animals in it.  He had a 12-year-old kid kind of showing him how to do stuff.  That’s when he decided to change his name to Joe Exotic.  When we first started out, we were all crammed in a semi.  Fourteen of us in a cab of a semi, that’s a little cramped.  They would do cub petting.  You could take your picture with this little baby cub.  I mean, there was times that we may have made ten grand at the mall.  And there was times that we were doing 20, 30, 40 grand.”

“Joe is a very paranoid person.”

PETA Representative (Brittany Peet)

“PETA is unapologetic in its mission to help animals, and we’ve been targeting Joe Exotic for many, many years.  I think that we can’t… underestimate how dangerous some of these people are.  Joe is always armed.  There’s always a gun at his side.”

PETA Representative 2

“Oh, just investigating some animal rights issues that might be happening.”

Susan Bass

“Howard and Carole hired me at the beginning of 2011 to basically try to track Joe and convince the malls to not allow him to exploit cubs.  At one point, we used someone to follow Joe and report what mall they were going to next.  It was, you know, part detective work to try and track down Joe and where he was in the country with these cubs.”

Governor John Kasich

“You would not believe how many sheriffs told me, ‘oh yeah, just down the street, there’s a guy that has a lion, or, ‘a guy down there that has a tiger.’  They just feel very strongly that these are mine and nobody’s gonna take ’em from me.”

Myrtle Beach Park Employee

“And speaking of incredible animals, joining us is the founder and director of TIGERS.  Now these big teeth also make it so that he can take down larger prey than you would expect.  And he thinks coming out here is a wee bit of a drag.”

Man 7

“I’ll tell you, it’s real simple.  Don’t own big, dangerous, exotic animals ’cause it’s a time bomb.  Everybody has a story.  Everybody that’s owned one, it’s always been a bad, bad ending.  I’ve been doing this 20 years.  Never even been bit.  It’s okay.”

Man 8

“There are so many strange twists in that story.  You would have to write books, volumes of the stuff that went wrong there.”

JP Wilson

“I first met Joe when I was in the eighth grade.  I helped in a show down in Norman, Oklahoma.  Joe wasn’t doing magic.  I started showing him some of the magic that I did.  And Joe supplied tigers to be used during the show.”

News Reporter 1

“Tiger selfies, a big trend on a dating app…”

News Reporter 6

“The tiger selfie is a growing trend on sites like Tinder and OKCupid apparently.”

Stephen Colbert

“Oh yeah, this is how endangered species can save themselves, by helping us get laid.”

David Letterman

“How do you hold these?”

Shaquille O’Neal

“All right, yesterday on my day off I went to the G.W. Zoo.  Shoutout to Exotic Joe.  I got two more tigers.”




“And ready to go.  You are a good kitty.”


“The animals’ presence isn’t…”

Mr. Huffman

“The Big Cat Public Safety Act would end the ownership of big cats as exotic pets and prohibit exhibitors from allowing the public to have contact with them.”

News Reporter

“A decades-long feud comes to a bizarre end–”

News Reporter 2

“Tiger King stands accused of trying to have a woman killed.”

News Reporter 3

“Here is a fact that may make you stop for a second.  There are more captive tigers in the US today than there are in the wild throughout the world.”

News Reporter 4

“The so-called Tiger King– he is on trial, accused in a murder-for-hire plot.  The well-known zoo owner was taken into custody.”

News Reporter 5

“Joe Exotic is accused of paying a person to murder Carole Baskin.  Long before he was ever indicted in these charges, Joe Exotic was someone that makes good TV, makes good news.  Even if it’s a train wreck, you can’t help but look.  He could be looking at nearly 80 years in prison.”


“You got it.  Is that gonna be it or do you need any explosives today?”

Big Cat Rescue Attendee

“Carole is, I would have to say, a hero of mine.”

Big Cat Rescue Attendee 2

“She’s an awesome advocate for cats.”

Big Cat Rescue Attendee 3

“These animals have a life to live now.  A happy life to live.”

Big Cat Rescue Attendee 4

“And I tell everyone this is like the Ritz-Carlton of animal sanctuaries, ’cause you just do an amazing job.  I know.”

G.W. Zoo Security (Marc Thompson)

“He had problems with PETA coming onto the park and taking pictures and stuff like that.  And trying to discredit him so he needed extra security ”

Garvin County Sheriff Rhodes

“You know, I’ve been sheriff here now for over eight years, and our community gets its share of crime, drug use, burglaries, domestic assaults.  But then there’s Joe Exotic.  Within a year of becoming sheriff, Joe walks into my office.”

“Good, good.  From that point on, it was, uh… it’s been nonstop, you know, with the G.W. Zoo and Joe.  I’ve gotten a lot of calls to– ‘you better watch Joe he’s doing this, he’s saying that.’  One of the things that keeps me awake at night is the park.  When I really realized Joe was potentially dangerous was when he made a comment about ‘this could be another Waco.’  And I took that as a direct threat that if my office ever had to take some action out there, we were going to have a shoot-out.”

“Someone like Joe, who is very polarizing… he can draw out people to oppose him.  For instance, I mean, I would get a little cut-out postcard like this, addressed to me… picture of Joe with the world evil on it.  That was really the point I realized, you know, there’s people that are opposite of what Joe believes in.  Over the course of eight years, I would guess we have probably taken 40 to 50 reports from Joe.  And we have had people try to get on that park.”

Call Operator

“This is a prepaid call from… an inmate at the Grady County Jail.”


“Okay, good boy!  Good boy!”


“Okay, this is good.  All right.  And how old is she?”

Interviewer 2

“Not the cats?”

Snake Owner

“She’s 23 years old.”

Snake Dealer

“See how the snake stresses?  That’s when the venom shoots out.  that’s enough to kill everybody in this room three, four times over.  We haven’t even offered them for sale yet.  These are those real young ones, you know.  Not if they’re acclimated in Florida, if they’re born and raised here.  These are rarer than the clouded leopard.”

Myrtle Beach Park Employee

“Today we’re gonna take those same techniques that Doc created while working with Hollywood’s top producers and directors to create for you an amazing animal adventure.”

Myrtle Beach Park Attendee

“Look at the camera.”

Myrtle Beach Park Attendee 2

“This is our third time.  Second this week.  Me and my wife were here Sunday.  I mean, I hit the lottery, I’ll pay these people whatever they want for me to go down to the reservation every day and play with them.”

Myrtle Beach Park Attendee 3

“You can’t put a price on holding a baby tiger.  That’s his favorite animal.”

GW Zoo Attendee

“Oh, my god, here are the cubs!”

GW Zoo Attendee 2

“How old are they?”

GW Zoo Crowd


Caller 1

“Yeah, there’s a lion on Mount Perry Road and Gratiot.”

Caller 2

“It was heading west in a hurry.”

Caller 3

“Looks like a jaguar or wolf or something…”

Eye Witness

“It walked out in front of me, and it was standing there under the streetlight.  Anything outside the perimeter gets… definitely gets taken down.”

Zanesville Reporter

“Sheriff Matt Lutz said 50 wild animals kept on a private farm had been deliberately set loose.  The animals were unleashed on the town by a man who kept them in his backyard.  Forty-eight of his animals were eventually killed, pushing Ohio lawmakers to author a new bill restricting private ownership of exotic pets.  Arguably the loudest, most defiant voice on the front lines of the big cat debate belongs to this man.”

CBS Reporter

“The president of the Humane Society called this place, and I quote: ‘a ticking time bomb and potentially ten times worse than Zanesville.’  That’s a pretty powerful statement.”

1993 News Reporter

“That stand-off near Waco began as a federal raid when federal agents tried to serve a search warrant.

Waco ATF Agent

“Our hearts go out to these brave agents who died today in the line of duty.”

Sheriff Matt Lutz

“One baboon, three mountain lions and 18 tigers.”

News Reporter

“We’re talking this morning about the upcoming Mystical Magic of the Endangered Show.  It’s coming to the Valley View Mall.”


“What do you carry that gun for?”


“Maybe take it off?”

“Here comes Carole.”

Producer 2

“Want me to go up?”

News Reporter Archival Footage

“IF you watch us often, you know one of our reporters, Rick Kirkham, is nuts.”

News Reporter Archival Footage 2

“With a mere touch of a flame, it was instant Kirkham kabob.”


“This is a prepaid call from… …an inmate at the Grady County Jail.”

Josh Dial

Jeff Lowe

Amanda Green

Wendell Williams

Gladys Lewis Cross

Joseph Fritz

Mario Tabraue

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