Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild
May 14, 2019 11:10 AM   Subscribe

“The Tiger King: that’s how [Joe] has marketed himself and lived his life...But here’s the thing with kings—they start to believe they’re above the law.” He called himself the Tiger King and plastered his face on highway billboards in Texas and Oklahoma. He bred big cats, bears, baboons, and more. He lived, with a parade of partners, on the grounds of his private zoo. He threatened a rival with murder—repeatedly, on YouTube—and tried to hire a hit man to do the deed.
posted by xingcat (10 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
What an interesting, distressing read.

And from the claim "Today there are more tigers in captivity than in the wild" in the article I'm now reading Are There More Tigers in Texas and Florida than in the Wild?
posted by readinghippo at 11:32 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]

Content Warning: Animal cruelty and death.
posted by The Bellman at 11:37 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this is the reason any 'cute' video of people interacting with big cats gets my immediate revulsion - chances are pretty good that it is a result of an exploitative relationship with a wild animal.
posted by Dmenet at 11:41 AM on May 14 [6 favorites]

to be accurate, a tiger-lion hybrid is a liger (male lion, female tiger), a tiliger is a second generation hybrid of a male tiger and a female liger (ligress). Male hybrids are sterile but females can produce cubs.
posted by numaner at 12:18 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]

In all sincerity, I can not wait for the warring prestige podcasts and magazine news show documentaries about the Tiger King.
posted by bookwo3107 at 12:18 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]

It was not an affectionate household. Joe’s parents rarely, if ever, told him they loved him.

I don't like these statements in such profiles. Plenty of asian families are like this, and we turn out fine. The key is neglect and indifference. You can still be good parents without being affectionate or ever telling your children you love them. I didn't have that exchange with my mom until I was an adult, and in English, because we're Americans now and Americans do that.
posted by numaner at 12:26 PM on May 14 [6 favorites]

I'm not that far in and already I don't know what to think of someone who rescues two tigers, but names them Tess and Tickles.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:57 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

People have had far worse childhoods and not ended up a human dumpster fire like this guy. I kind of don't appreciate the profiling bit of this piece. Screw him - his cruelty, his narcissism, his need to control and torture large animals to feel like a big man. It's not cute, it's not eccentric; it's fucked up and ugly.
posted by gohabsgo at 3:28 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]

I never cease to be amazed at how bizarre of a life some people manage to lead.
posted by vorpal bunny at 4:39 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]

Everytime a Schreibvogel is born the gods flip a coin, and the tigers hold their breath...
posted by The Power Nap at 11:56 AM on May 16

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