3.5 readers, this will be short, but I have to recommend the new docu-series Tiger King on Netflix.
Heck, if you’re huddled inside, trying to stave off the corona, what better time than now to check out this little gem?
The long story short is that there is a crazy, wacky, world that you have likely never heard of before. That world is the world of privately owned (as in by a person rather than by a professional company) tiger zoos. Shoddily run by dudes with tremendous egos who act like their ownership of giant kitties is a super power, these joints are teaming with tabloid fodder and this series brings it all to your screen.
The most wacky of all tiger zoo owners is Joe Exotic, a gay country singing bigamist cowboy from Oklahoma who is addicted to social media and putting content on the web. He loves the limelight, putting some of the silliest videos of himself imaginable out there, acting as though he is some sort of larger than life cartoon character.
Over time, he gets into a public feud with Carol Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue, a preserve that gives a home to big cats once owned by zoos such as Exotic’s. Baskin says Exotic is mistreating his kitties. Exotic says she’s just trying to steal his cats for herself.
Ultimately, the feud takes a gruesome turn when Exotic moves from clown to criminal, getting arrested for his part in a hit for hire plot against Baskin.
Some of the things you’ll see in this series just defies belief. Dudes who play with giant tigers without a care that they could easily become lunch. Hangers on who work for next to nothing because they either have nowhere else to go or they just love the lifestyle. Women turned big cat owner groupies. Young men enamored by Joe’s money to the point they marry him even though they are straight. Money thrown away on zoos that essentially become money pits and expired Walmart leftover meats that are fed to kitties.
This is one to watch, 3.5 readers.