The horrific claims were made by Joe Exotic, the focus of Netflix blockbuster ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness’. The viral show documented the clash between big cat zookeeper Joe Exotic and animal rights activist Carole Baskin. Their fierce feud was sparked by Ms Baskin’s regular attempts to close down Mr Exotic’s animal park and drain his financial resources through a number of lawsuits. The stranger-than-fiction show culminates in Mr Exotic’s desperate attempt to “get rid” of his rival by paying a hitman to kill her. Last year he was sentenced to 22 years in jail for the murder-for-hire plot, animal abuse crimes, forging documents and more. While many thought the story of Joe Exotic could not get any stranger, more shocking bombshells have emerged from a BBC documentary by Louis Theroux. There the big cat keeper claimed he would be willing to kill each and every one of the animals in his park if they ever ceased their operations.
Since it was released last month, Tiger King has become a viral sensation that has dominated discussion on social media and general conversation.
The docu-series was watched by 34.3 million people its first 10 days on the platform and nearly surpassed the record held by ‘Stranger Things’ season three with 36.3 million.
The shocking flick captures Joe Exotic making numerous threats against foe Carole Baskin and even destroying mannequin replicas of her – in one instance exploding a dummy.
She was concerned with conditions lions, tigers, crossbred variations of the two, and other animals were being kept in while under his care.
Particularly, alarm bells were raised because he was breeding big cats to sell the cubs and use them posed-up photo opportunities with the public.
Ms Baskin’s fears were mirrored by Debbie Banks, who investigates wildlife crime for the Environmental Investigation Agency.
She told Express.co.uk that operations like Joe Exotic’s were not for “conservation” – as these types of facilities often claim – but “solely for profit”.
Ms Banks also stated that the domestication of big cats transforms them into “tiger-shaped animals” that have none of the traits of the wild animal.
Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was jailed last year for his crimes and seems unlikely to be released from his 22 year sentence.
Despite this, President Donald Trump has said he would “look into” the case – after being questioned about the TV phenomenon by a reporter.
Just when it looked like it could not get any worse for Joe Exotic, more bombshell revelations have surfaced.
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In the 2011 BBC documentary ‘Louis Theroux: America’s Most Dangerous Pets’, the host quizzed the big cat keeper about the future of his animal park.
Earlier on in the show, it was revealed that Mr Exotic had been trying to breed “saber-toothed tigers” as part of a desperate ploy to attract more visitors.
Standing inside the park owner’s trailer, Mr Theroux asked the park owner if he was worried about how long they could keep operations going.
Mr Exotic said: “I am worried all the time. Nonstop. But we’ll figure it out somehow. We’ll make it.
“We have been on the edge since the day we opened this place 11 years ago.”
Mr Theroux then asked about his decision to “stockpile tigers”, arguing that once visitors have seen one they “don’t need to see another 149”.
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From there he asked whether Mr Exotic worried that if the park “ran out of money or ceased to operate” that many of the animals “would have to be euthanized”.
With a cold look on his face, Mr Exotic replied: “I’ve kicked that idea around, if I ever went broke I think I would euthanize everything, rather than put them in another facility with the same financial stress.”
Mr Theroux, who was understandably shocked by the revelation, asked if Mr Exotic twice if he was serious about killing all “1,400 animals” – to which he replied “yeah”.
As silence filled the room and the tension rose, a pained look appeared on the park owner’s face as he regularly nodded nervously.
Mr Theroux said: “I don’t think you’re being serious.”
To which Mr Exotic, whose sad face turned into a smirk and then a grin, responded: “I don’t think you know me very well.”
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