Joe Exotic Is Terrified Of Big Cats & Other Wild Reveals From The Tiger King Reunion

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Hey all you cool cats and kittens, the Tiger King reunion is finally here. The cast is spilling the tea, and it is boiling hot. The special episode, “The Tiger King and I,” hosted by Joel McHale, offers some big reveals about Tiger King both on-screen and off.
While Joe Exotic can’t be there for obvious reasons, Carole Baskin didn’t take part in the Tiger King aftershow, and neither did FBI informant James Garretson, all your other favorites are back for this lo-fi production that looks a whole lot like your quarantine Zoom calls. John Finlay, Joe’s former husband; Erik Cowie, his head zookeeper; Kelci "Saff" Saffery, former animal keeper; Jeff Lowe, Joe’s one-time business partner; and Rick Kirkham, the man who tried to make Joe Exotic a reality TV star, are ready to tell their truths. That includes discussing what it was really like working for Exotic and what it’s like to become a meme

Joe Exotic Is Allegedly Scared Of Big Cats & The Cast Say He Had No Qualms About Killing Them

This might be the biggest reveal: the man known as the Tiger King is actually afraid of tigers, lions, and ligers. Oh my! While he was shown hanging out with all these big cats, his reality show producer Rick Kirkham said it was all a farce. He claims a white tiger Exotic posed with often was blind and another one was on tranquilizers. “It’s idiotic to think he’s become famous as ‘The Tiger King’ when he’s so terrified of big cats,” Kirkham said.  
His fear of the animals was allegedly why he killed them if he felt like it. In a prison interview, Exotic admitted to killing five tigers because they were sick, but his former business partner, Lowe, claims he “shot ’em in the head because he needed the cage space.”
Former animal keeper Saffery was outraged to later learn Joe killed tigers for no reason. “Joe always had a way of explaining his actions,” he said. “So, ‘they were old, they were injured, they were suffering’ is what we got.” Kirkham also admitted he saw Exotic shoot two tigers, one of them because it tried to bite him. “He was a cruel man,” Kirkham said. He also saw Exotic shoot a horse someone had asked him to care for and after doing so said, “I don’t take care of nobody’s animals. And, now they’re tiger meat.” 

No One Got Counseling After Travis Maldonado's Death

Josh Dial, Exotic’s former campaign manager, was the one who saw Exotic’s late husband Travis Maldonado accidentally kill himself. “I had to go in that office every day and sit in that same chair,” Dial said, “and look at that bullet hole in the wall every day for a year-and-a-half.” After the event, Dial said that Exoticand Lowe never offered to pay for therapy. Exotic also never saw a counselor. Instead, he spoke with a shaman after the accident, which Dial thinks only made things worse. “I’m all for holistic approaches,” he said. “But sometimes you need real legitimate counseling and medication. He wasn’t getting it.” 
That’s what Dial is seeking now. He’s currently raising money to go counseling and once he does, he wants to get back into politics. “I want to jump back into campaigning for sure,” he said. 

Joe Exotic's Zoo Used The Video Of Saff's Attack As A Safety Video

Saffery has had to rewatch that horrific moment over and over again — and not just because of Tiger King. “There was a time and place where we actually used it as a safety video,” Saffery said. When asked if he was compensated for the footage, Saffery said, “We didn’t even have any further of a conversation than, ‘This should be the one thing people need to see before they decide if this is a career move they wanna make.’”

People Are Not Observing Social Distancing & Coming Up To The Cast To Say Hi (Mostly In Walmart)

Cowie, head zookeeper at Joe Exotic’s G.W. Zoo and now Lowe’s zoo, says he hasn’t seen the documentary, but that hasn’t stopped people from seeing him. On a recent trip to Walmart people were filming him. “It’s rather odd,” he said. “Walking through the parking lot and everybody’s got their cell phones out. I’m just a fucking guy, you know?”
Saffery also said he lost his anonymity because of the show, which has made late-night Walmart runs especially frustrating. “Should’ve only taken me 10 minutes but I was stopped three times, during a pandemic.” John Reinke, the former manager of G.W. Zoo, said that going out now is a lot different than it once was. Especially, since no one is practicing safe social distancing. “They don’t care about the COVID,” he said. “They want to shake your hand, get a picture with you.” 

Joe Exotic Blew Up John Reinke's Cabin & Golf Cart

By the end, Reinke said Exotic was blowing everything up — literally. “Knocked the windshield out of my golf cart,” he said. “Blew a hole in my cabin. Blew a window out.” This might just seem like another bonkers Joe Exotic story, but it might be proof that Exotic was the one who started the fire at the zoo that ruined his studio and killed his alligators. As another reality TV star once said, “This is a case for the FBI” — except this time, we mean it. Joe Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison after being investigated by the FBI.

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