News, Culture & Society

Tiger king in his element: Unseen photos show Joe Exotic at home with his big cats

Notorious ex-tiger breeder Joe Exotic is captured in his element with his exotic animals in a never-before seen photo shoot in 2015. 

The central character of the smash-hit Netflix docuseries ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness’ is pictured playing with and feeding his beloved big cats and monkeys. 

He is also seen whizzing around on a quad bike at the Greater Wynnewood Zoo and Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. 

It comes as President Trump said he would ‘look at’ pardoning Joe Exotic when questioned by reporters at the White House on Wednesday.  

Notorious ex-tiger breeder Joe Exotic is captured in his element with his exotic animals in a never-before seen photoshoot in 2015

Tiger King star Joe Exotic grins at the camera with a monkey perched on his shoulder in previously unseen photographs from 2015

Tiger King star Joe Exotic grins at the camera with a monkey perched on his shoulder in previously unseen photographs from 2015 

Joe Exotic poses with a cub at his animal park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma in 2015

Joe Exotic poses with a cub at his animal park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma in 2015

The central character of the smash-hit Netflix docuseries 'Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness' is pictured playing with and feeding his beloved big cats and monkeys

The central character of the smash-hit Netflix docuseries ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness’ is pictured playing with and feeding his beloved big cats and monkeys

The openly gay former zookeeper and country music singer – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – has become a pop culture icon across the US and beyond thanks to the wild TV series, which sparked a mass binge watching frenzy among millions of people stuck in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Amid his rapid rise to fame, the mullet wearing Trump supporter, 57, is currently serving a 22 year jail term for trying to hire a hitman to murder animal rights advocate Carole Baskin amid a bitter, long-running feud. 

As if the criminal case wasn’t bizarre enough, he has recently also filed a $94 million dollar lawsuit against the US government and his former business partner amid multiple claims of fraud, false arrest and imprisonment. 

The openly gay former zookeeper and country music singer - real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage - has become a pop culture icon across the US

The openly gay former zookeeper and country music singer – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – has become a pop culture icon across the US

The Netflix series sparked a mass binge watching frenzy among millions of people stuck in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic

The Netflix series sparked a mass binge watching frenzy among millions of people stuck in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic

Amid his rapid rise to fame, the mullet wearing Trump supporter, 57, is currently serving a 22 year jail term for trying to hire a hitman to murder animal rights advocate Carole Baskin amid a bitter, long-running feud

Amid his rapid rise to fame, the mullet wearing Trump supporter, 57, is currently serving a 22 year jail term for trying to hire a hitman to murder animal rights advocate Carole Baskin amid a bitter, long-running feud

A Trump sign is pictured outside the GW Zoo and Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma in 2015

A Trump sign is pictured outside the GW Zoo and Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma in 2015 

This exclusive catalogue of striking images has emerged as it’s revealed – to the delight of fans across the globe – a bonus episode of the Netflix show will drop next week.

President Trump this week said he would look at pardoning Joe Exotic. ‘I’ll take a look,’ Trump said Wednesday at the White House, telling reporters that he had not seen the show, which has been a ratings hit as Americans stay at home through the coronavirus crisis. 

On Monday on SiriusXM, Donald Trump Jr had called Exotic’s sentence ‘aggressive’ after watching the documentary series in two sittings. 

‘Now, I don’t even know exactly what he was charged with … I watched the show, but it was like, I don’t know exactly what he was guilty of or wasn’t,’ Trump Jr. said. ‘It doesn’t seem like he was totally innocent of anything. But when they’re saying, “We’re putting this guy away for 30 years,” I’m saying that seems sort of aggressive.’

When a reporter brought up his son’s comments, Trump commented, ‘Which son? It must be Don. I had a feeling it was Don,’ the president said.

The show follows three main zoo owners including Exotic and Carole Baskin, the woman who owns Tampa, Florida’s Big Cat Rescue.

It was Baskin that Exotic allegedly was plotting to kill.

She had become a thorn in his side by pushing lawmakers to vote in favor of the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would make it harder for individuals to own tigers and lions and would put an end to cub-petting, which was a business model used by Exotic.  

As if the criminal case wasn't bizarre enough, he has recently also filed a $94 million dollar lawsuit against the US government and his former business partner amid multiple claims of fraud, false arrest and imprisonment

As if the criminal case wasn’t bizarre enough, he has recently also filed a $94 million dollar lawsuit against the US government and his former business partner amid multiple claims of fraud, false arrest and imprisonment

This exclusive catalogue of striking images has emerged as it's revealed - to the delight of fans across the globe - a bonus episode of the Netflix show will drop next week

This exclusive catalogue of striking images has emerged as it’s revealed – to the delight of fans across the globe – a bonus episode of the Netflix show will drop next week

It comes after the Tiger King's aunt Chealsi Putman exclusively revealed to DailyMailTV that behind her uncle's over the top persona portrayed on TV lies an evil conniving person who tries to take advantage of anyone who crosses his path

It comes after the Tiger King’s aunt Chealsi Putman exclusively revealed to DailyMailTV that behind her uncle’s over the top persona portrayed on TV lies an evil conniving person who tries to take advantage of anyone who crosses his path

'In the Tiger King Netflix series, you can see glimpses of his evil persona but in real-life Joe is 100 times worse. I want people to know who the real Joe Exotic is, not the one you've seen on TV,' Putman said

‘In the Tiger King Netflix series, you can see glimpses of his evil persona but in real-life Joe is 100 times worse. I want people to know who the real Joe Exotic is, not the one you’ve seen on TV,’ Putman said

In April 2019 Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, was convicted of two counts of murder-for-hire, eight violations of the Lacey Act and on nine violations of the Endangered Species Act.

‘I know nothing about it,’ Trump admitted, asking the reporter who posed the question, The New York Post’s Steven Nelson, to describe Exotic’s crimes.

Trump then said he’d take a look.

Since ‘Tiger King’ became a hit, Exotic and Baskin have become household names.

The show also details how Baskin’s first husband disappeared, a case that has been reopened by authorities since the airing of the episodes.

Exotic, on the show, claimed Baskin fed her husband to a Tiger. 

Joe Exotic plays with one of the exotic felines at his animal park in Oklahoma

Joe Exotic plays with one of the exotic felines at his animal park in Oklahoma

Joe also sold countless baby tigers illegally, too many to count according to Putman

Joe also sold countless baby tigers illegally, too many to count according to Putman

'He would either take cash under the table for the sale of the tiger or if someone sent a check, it would be made out to another person, or if the money was wired to a store, it would be in another person's name,' his niece said

‘He would either take cash under the table for the sale of the tiger or if someone sent a check, it would be made out to another person, or if the money was wired to a store, it would be in another person’s name,’ his niece said 

In an interview with Netflix from jail, Exotic said he is ‘done with the Carole Baskin saga’, turning over a new leaf and focusing on trying to get released from prison and to clear his name.

‘I’m done with the Carole Baskin saga,’ he said. ‘It’s now time to turn the tables and Joe gets out of jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges.’

Exotic sounds mournful at the fact he not a free man and able to enjoy his new-found fame. 

Joe Exotic pictured having fun with one of the cats at his park in a photo shoot dating back to 2015. In an interview with Netflix from jail, Exotic said he is 'done with the Carole Baskin saga', turning over a new leaf and focusing on trying to get released from prison and to clear his name

Joe Exotic pictured having fun with one of the cats at his park in a photo shoot dating back to 2015. In an interview with Netflix from jail, Exotic said he is ‘done with the Carole Baskin saga’, turning over a new leaf and focusing on trying to get released from prison and to clear his name

'I'm done with the Carole Baskin saga,' he said. 'It's now time to turn the tables and Joe gets out of jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges'

‘I’m done with the Carole Baskin saga,’ he said. ‘It’s now time to turn the tables and Joe gets out of jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges’

Exotic sounds mournful at the fact he not a free man and able to enjoy his new-found fame

Exotic sounds mournful at the fact he not a free man and able to enjoy his new-found fame

'You know it would be nice if I could actually see me being famous out there, but I've seen these same four walls for a year and a half now,' he said in the March 22 interview which was posted to Twitter last weekend

‘You know it would be nice if I could actually see me being famous out there, but I’ve seen these same four walls for a year and a half now,’ he said in the March 22 interview which was posted to Twitter last weekend

‘You know it would be nice if I could actually see me being famous out there, but I’ve seen these same four walls for a year and a half now,’ he said in the March 22 interview which was posted to Twitter last weekend.

His time spent incarcerated has also given him some insight into how he treated his animals.

‘Go sit in a cage with your animals for a week,’ he said. ‘I mean, when I left the zoo and I sent my chimpanzees to the sanctuary in Florida and imagined what my chimpanzees went through for 18 years, I’m ashamed of myself.’

Joe pictured zooming around on a quad bike at his animal park. His time spent incarcerated has also given him some insight into how he treated his animals

Joe pictured zooming around on a quad bike at his animal park. His time spent incarcerated has also given him some insight into how he treated his animals

Exotic paid thanks to his husband, Dillon Passage, 24, who has remained by his side throughout his legal battles and subsequent jailing

Exotic paid thanks to his husband, Dillon Passage, 24, who has remained by his side throughout his legal battles and subsequent jailing

Exotic paid thanks to his husband, Dillon Passage, 24, who has remained by his side throughout his legal battles and subsequent jailing.

The pair had only been married for eight months before the Tiger King was sent to prison.

Last Thursday, Joe was removed from precautionary coronavirus isolation and transferred to a prison medical center. 

The former zookeeper is currently receiving care at the Federal Bureau of Prisons-operated Federal Medical Center Forth Worth in Texas, according to inmate records. 

According to Joe’s fourth husband,Exotic was being held in isolation at the Grady County Jail in Chickasha, Oklahoma due to his previous jail having had COVID-19 cases. 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk