New Animal Planet Special ‘Surviving Joe Exotic’ Features Never-Before-Seen Footage of the ‘Tiger King’
Tiger King mania swept the U.S. in March, when the Netflix documentary captured the attention of millions of people suddenly trapped at home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The docuseries offered an inside look at the wild world of big cat breeders. It also chronicled a series of strange events tied to the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, a roadside animal attraction run by Joseph Maldonado-Passage — better known to Netflix viewers as Joe Exotic.
Now, a new documentary about Exotic and his zoo is set to air on Animal Planet. Surviving Joe Exotic features never-before-seen footage of the now-imprisoned zoo owner as well as revealing interviews with people who worked at his Oklahoma park.
‘Surviving Joe Exotic’ airs July 25
Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison for animal abuse and his role in a murder-for-hire plot that targeted his rival Carole Baskin of Florida’s Big Cat Rescue. But before his arrest in 2018, he sat down for one of his last formal interviews, letting cameras from Animal Planet’s Wolves and Warriors series into his G.W. Zoo. That footage has been incorporated into Surviving Joe Exotic, which airs Saturday, July 25 at 10/9c on Animal Planet.
In a sneak peek, Exotic claims that his zoo takes in “unwanted animals” and that there’s no money in his business. But later, he seems to reveal a different side to his exotic animal obsession.
“I’m not gonna lie, they’re my f*cking tigers,” Exotic says, perhaps unaware that the camera are rolling. “I’m gonna sell them and it’s my money.” He also fires a gun at a rooster who is annoying him during an interview segment.
Hear from people who once worked for Joe Exotic
In addition to hearing from Exotic himself, viewers will also see interviews with former G.W. Zoo employees Saff Saffery – who lost an arm in an on-the-job tiger-mauling incident — and Gaylynn Eastwood. Both will reveal new details about Exotic’s big cat breeding business, his dealings in the exotic animal trade, and his treatment of animals. Plus, there will be behind-the-scenes footage from Exotic’s stage show and the zoo’s interactive tour.
Learn what happened to some of the Tiger King’s animals
Surviving Joe Exotic also features updates on the fate of some of the animals who lived at the G.W. Zoo. Viewers will check in with Kryxis and Kadira, a pair of visually impaired tigers who were rescued from Exotic’s zoo and eventually had their sight restored through surgery at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Indiana. The documentary also features an update about Chobe and Kariba, two traumatized lions who now live at the Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary in Oregon.
Surviving Joe Exotic airs Saturday, June 25 at 10/9c on Animal Planet.
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