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Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic makes viewers turn on gun-totting zoo owner

Tiger King fans turned on Joe Exotic after watching a new Louis Theroux documentary last night – as they declared the zoo keeper is ‘scum’ who should ‘rot in jail’.

Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic revisited the story of the zoo keeper, 58, with the documentary maker, 50, sharing unseen footage from his 2011 show America’s Most Dangerous Pets – nine years before Joe shot to worldwide fame in Netflix series Tiger King: Murder, Madness, and Mayhem. 

Viewers were shocked as Joe laughed about hiring a hitman and described his feud with animal rights activist Carole Baskin becoming so ‘serious’ that ‘somebody is going to be killed’.

In one clip from 2011, Joe said: ‘She’s either going to kill one of us or somebody is going to have her killed.’

In 2019, Joe was jailed for 22 years after being found guilty of plotting to kill his nemesis and fellow big cat lover Carole.

Many of those watching were left stunned by the footage, with one saying: ‘Watching Louis Theroux’s Shooting Joe Exotic makes me realise how much Tiger King glamourised a convicted zoo operator.

Tiger King fans turned on Joe Exotic after watching new programme Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic which revealed unseen footage of the zoo keeper last night – as they declared he is ‘scum’ who should ‘rot in jail’

Meanwhile animal rights activist Carole Baskin told Louis that she had received hundreds of threatening phone calls and death threats after Tiger King aired - while her husband Howard called the Netflix series 'cruel'

Meanwhile animal rights activist Carole Baskin told Louis that she had received hundreds of threatening phone calls and death threats after Tiger King aired – while her husband Howard called the Netflix series ‘cruel’

‘As always, Theroux is a superb storyteller who doesn’t let bias or his opinion stand in the way of a story.’ 

Another said: ‘Louis Theroux’s new documentary about Joe Exotic has really opened a whole new tin of worms for the guy. He is absolutely never getting out of prison.’

Joe, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22 year jail sentence after being convicted of two counts of murder-for-hire.

He was found guilty of plotting to kill his rival – animal rights activist Carole, 58.

Viewers were shocked as Joe laughed about hiring a hitman and described his feud with Carole Baskin becoming so 'serious' that 'somebody is going to be killed'

Viewers were shocked as Joe laughed about hiring a hitman and described his feud with Carole Baskin becoming so ‘serious’ that ‘somebody is going to be killed’

The ‘Tiger King’ was convinced she wanted to destroy his zoo, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. 

He was arrested in September of 2018 and later convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder for hire in his plot to kill Baskin.

The Kansas native requested a pardon from one-term President Donald Trump back in September, sending him a handwritten letter, later suing the Justice Department in December as a last-ditch effort. 

He most recently hired a new legal team, as they plan to use unaired Tiger King footage to push for a new trial.

A decade on from when he first met Joe Exotic for the documentary America's Most Dangerous Pets, Louis returned to Oklahoma in response to a direct call from Joe to tell the 'real story'

A decade on from when he first met Joe Exotic for the documentary America’s Most Dangerous Pets, Louis returned to Oklahoma in response to a direct call from Joe to tell the ‘real story’

Last night’s documentary saw Louis return to Oklahoma in response to a direct call from Joe to tell the ‘real story’, with the documentary-maker rewatching unaired footage from his 2011 programme. 

One of Louis’ discoveries going back over all footage indicated Joe had made dark and apparently serious references to the possibility of Carole being killed, even with Louis. 

Previously unseen footage of Joe showed him describing Carole as a ‘psychotic woman’, a ‘domestic terrorist’ and ‘the prime suspect in her husband’s disappearance’.

He told Louis: ‘I can’t keep my park going as long as this b**** is around.’ 

Last night's documentary saw the documentary-maker rewatching unaired footage from his 2011 programme

Last night’s documentary saw the documentary-maker rewatching unaired footage from his 2011 programme

Watching the footage on his laptop, Louis said: ‘I haven’t watched this in 10 years, I had no  idea it would lead to a federal case and Joe getting 22 years.’ 

In one clip, Joe described himself as ‘the most dangerous exotic animal owner in the world’, saying: ‘Before you bring me down, it is my belief that you will stop breathing.’ 

He later laughed as he discussed his feud with animal rights activist Carole, describing how ‘people’ were ‘considering’ a hit man in Florida.

The zoo keeper said: ‘People are so fed up of it, that this guy is a hit man in Tampa, and he has gotten off every hit he’s ever done. And people are considering it. That’s how serious this is all getting.

In the shocking previously unseen footage from 2011, Joe described himself as 'the most dangerous exotic  animal owner in the world' and openly discussed his hatred for Carole

In the shocking previously unseen footage from 2011, Joe described himself as ‘the most dangerous exotic  animal owner in the world’ and openly discussed his hatred for Carole

‘If we can’t get anywhere with this law-suit…I don’t even know anymore. I’ve been through Attorney General, I’ve been through the Court of Justice.’

‘Who do you go to if you say, something bad is going to happen if you don’t step in to stop all of this? 

‘It’s getting to the point where somebody is going to die. She’s either going to kill one of us or somebody is going to have her killed.’

Rewatching the footage, Louis said the discussions at the time ‘felt like talk’, and said he felt he took Joe’s words as ‘an expression of his overactive imagination’. 

In his final interview with Louis in 2011, Joe told the camera that he was sick of the ‘animal-rights bulls***’, and said he was ‘done’ with filming.

He ranted: ‘How many of your questions have gone from providing animals with a good life to ‘Do I feel guilty about breeding animals and  putting them in cages their whole life?’

Meanwhile the animal rights activist and her husband Howard described the hit Netflix series as 'unethical and downright cruel'

Meanwhile the animal rights activist and her husband Howard described the hit Netflix series as ‘unethical and downright cruel’

‘Before they run me out of business, I guarantee you that these animals won’t be the only ones euthanised. This is still America, we’re still allowed to bear arms and by gold, I ain’t afraid to use them.

‘Anyone who wants to disrupt what’s going on here…’ 

In another moment filmed earlier this year, Louis met with Joe’s legal team, who declared Carole was ‘evil’ and said: ‘Everyone believes with zero evidence that Carole killed her husband.

‘Everyone believes beyond reasonable doubt that Carole killed her husband in 1997. Just by the way she speaks, she reeks deception.’  

During the programme Louis also met with the Baskins at Big Cat Rescue and on the site of Joe’s old park – now owned by Carole and Howard and up for sale, with covenants in the deed that state it can’t be used to house exotic animals. 

Eight years after Louis' first documentary aired, Joe was jailed for 22 years in 2019 after being found guilty of plotting to kill his nemesis and fellow big cat lover Carole

Eight years after Louis’ first documentary aired, Joe was jailed for 22 years in 2019 after being found guilty of plotting to kill his nemesis and fellow big cat lover Carole

For her animal rights work, Carole has paid the price of being fiercely hated. 

Louis told Carole: ‘In 2011, I filmed at Joe’s park and he ranted about Carole, calling you the number one terrorist in America. How can you account for the level of hatred he had for you?’ 

Howard explained: ‘We were the ones who were stopping his mall exhibits, and we were effective. One by one, these malls were saying no, you can’t come here anymore. And that, understandably, really p***** him off.’

Carole spoke about her husband Don, saying: ‘I adored Don. We had been together since I was 19-years-old, so for 11 years, he was the center of my universe. He was crazy, even at his best, but it’s part of what I love about him.’

Louis described Howard as 'protective' and said he had 'a steely-side', while the couple reflected on the Netflix series

Louis described Howard as ‘protective’ and said he had ‘a steely-side’, while the couple reflected on the Netflix series

Howard said he ‘didn’t want to sit for an hour and talk about Don’, while Carole added: ‘People often ask me what I think happened to him….I think the thing that makes the most sense, is he crashed an ultra-light out of the Gulf. If it was anything else, I think we would have found him by now.’

Louis described Howard as ‘protective’ and said he had ‘a steely-side’, while the couple reflected on the series.

Howard said: ‘When [the documentary makers] they said they wanted to expose the bad guys, we wanted to believe them…what they did wasn’t just unethical…it was downright cruel.’

The couple showed Louis a selection of death threats they had received after Tiger King aired, with one person saying: ‘F*** you Carole Baskin, I want to put a ***** bullet between your eyes.’

Carole vehemently denies having anything to do with her second husband Don Lewis (pictured together during their marriage) going missing, but acknowledged 'these allegations have been made for 23 years'

 Carole vehemently denies having anything to do with her second husband Don Lewis (pictured together during their marriage) going missing, but acknowledged ‘these allegations have been made for 23 years’

Carole said: ‘When we got through watching Tiger King, my phone rang every two minutes for the next three months and it was people screaming obscenities.’  

Many of those watching the documentary were left stunned, with one saying: ‘Tiger King the series was misogynistic and grossly unethical and treated Carole Baskin horribly. 

‘That viewers saw Joe Exotic, a murderous animal abuser, and took his side and made him a hero, is worrying.’ 

Another said: ‘Fascinating documentary to see Louis revisiting old footage and seeing his take on it now. Joe Exotic is scum. Hes where he should be, and so should Jeff Lowe….’  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk