Tiger King Has Taken over America

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Photo Courtesy Creative Commons

Megan McCall, Editor

“Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” has become one of the most watched documentaries on Netflix, and not just because of the baby tigers. It is also because of the crazy characters and the amount of drama they bring to the world of big cats.

The eight episode series mainly revolves around Joe Exotic and his zoo with over 200 tigers. His staff is mainly ex-convicts and homeless people who are looking for a new path. At Joe Exotic’s zoo, they believe in breeding tigers and letting the costumers pet and hold the baby tigers. This raises a lot of controversy but Mr. Exotic was happy, because were visiting his zoo and paying to pet tigers.

But, Exotic is most known for running for President, then losing. Then running for governor, and losing that too. He’s a guy who likes attention, but it’s almost impossible not to give him attention. He has two husbands, who are both straight men. One of his husbands is missing most of his teeth because of common meth use at the zoo. They are very flawed, but it is hard not to take their side against someone just as crazy.

Carol Baskin is the owner of another well-known big cat zoo in Florida. But, she has very different beliefs than Exotic. She is highly against breeding and letting people touch the cats.

Exotic shows his hate towards her by sending her snakes in the mail, stealing her diary and putting pictures of her on a doll and then shooting it. But people are not very big fans of Carol.

Several years ago, she and her husband were having relationship troubles. Her husband even went as far as filing a restraining order and giving it to a friend “just in case anything happened.”

The day before he planned on delivering the divorce papers, he disappeared. When police read the note on the restraining order written by her husband he said that she had threaten to kill him. But no evidence was found to arrest her, so the case closed.

The show is a whirlwind of emotions. It’s hard to pick sides, because every new character is crazier than the last. But, somehow they are all pretty lovable.

The director just went to film a video on snakes, and he fell into a deep hole in the cat world. And I’m glad he did.

Joe Exotic is now in jail for a reason explained late in the season, and there is suicide, lying, stealing, fraud, money laundering and so much more. Usually this much drama in a eight part series would be too much. But, it is a very well produced and edited show.

Although it is very unlikely, I’m praying for a season two. Either way, next time I’m in Tampa, I’ll be at Carol Baskin’s big cat rescue.