A New Documentary About Joe Exotic Is Coming Out Next Week

Alfie PowellAlfie Powell in Entertainment, TV
Published 17.07.20

A documentary following the animals that were in Joe Exotic’s zoo is coming out next week, called Surviving Joe Exotic.

I’ll be honest, I completely forgot about the world of Tiger King and I was totally fine with that. Granted, the ol’ covids probably had something to do with distracting the world, but it was bliss not hearing people say “Hey all you cool cats and kittens,” every five minutes, if only for a month or so.

A few things have reminded me of the notorious docu-series recently though, and they include Carole Baskin being tricked into wishing Rolf Harris a happy birthday on Cameo, a colleague of mine having a Carole Baskin emoji next to her name on Slack, and this new Surviving Joe Exotic documentary.

Exotic is currently serving a 22 year prison sentence after being convicted of hiring a hitman to kill Carole Baskin (which obviously didn’t work), as well as a series of violations of the Endangered Species Act, including killing five tigers. It’s his latter crimes that will be the focus of the new documentary though, coming courtesy of Animal Planet.

A press release for the documentary states:

Viewers will follow the emotional stories of animals that made it out of the zoo for a second chance at life, and hear from ex-employees, including Saff Saffery – who lost an arm to one of Joe’s tigers – rescue leaders, exotic animal experts, and others with firsthand knowledge of the animal trafficking and breeding that fuelled Joe Exotic’s empire.

Paired with never-before-seen footage of Joe filmed for Animal Planet’s Wolves and Warriors in 2018, audiences will witness the stories of animals who were caught in the crossfire of Joe Exotic’s big cat breeding business, and the heartwarming stories of those that found new homes after the G.W. Zoo“.

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It’s an interesting take as, in the Tiger King series, it was the tigers that really played – more of less – eight fiddle to the rest of the plot and characters.

I will say that the most humanising moment of all of Tiger King is when Joe Exotic himself is talking about the apes he had in captivity in the final episode. That genuinely made me sad.

I believe that he started out with the best of intentions, but soon fell victim to riches and fame.

The documentary will air on Animal Planet on 25th July.