Tiger King: Where are they now?


Kaitlynn Breeden

Kaitlynn Breeden, Design Editor

“Tiger King” has been an anomaly to me and many others. The Netflix series focuses on two zoo owners, who both have the central focus and fascination: big cats. Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic’s ever longing hatred for each other is shown by documented arguments, even though they are states apart. Baskin owns Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL and Exotic previously owned the Greeler Wynnewood Zoo in Wynnewood, OK. The two zoo owners have different views and attitudes, and live separate lives.

Exotic accused Baskin of murdering her husband and feeding him to her cats. Their bizarre hatred for each other peaked when Exotic hired someone to assassinate Baskin. Exotic was arrested in 2018 for two counts of murder-for-hire, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for tampering with wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act for killing two tigers. Exotic was sentenced to 22 years behind bars.

It became a TikTok trend to send mail to Exotic to see if he’ll write back. Exotic has remained a meme since the show became popular.

Carole Baskin has been doing everything no one expected her to do. She was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, and she even has her own show in production. The show will be unscripted and will follow Baskin and her husband as they expose more people who abuse and take advantage of various animals. She also ventured out on the app Cameo, which allows you to pay celebrities to make a personal video for you. Though Baskin seems to have many new opportunities, the past came back to haunt her. During the first episode of Dancing with the Stars, the family of Don Lewis ran a commercial seeking justice for Lewis and asking for tips.

In a situation similar to Exotic, Doc Antle has also been in the news lately. Antle was charged with 15 counts of misconduct relating to wildlife trafficking and animal cruelty. He has been charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to traffic wildlife, four misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act and nine misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

Exotic’s former business partner, Jeff Lowe, was forced to vacate G.W. Zoo after a federal judge in Oklahoma awarded the property to Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue. Lowe took his animals to a new location in Thackerville, near the Oklahoma/Texas border. Lowe left animals at G.W. Zoo, which included three tigers, a grizzly bear, a black bear and 11 wolves. The animals were rescued by The Wildlife Refuge in Colorado.

None of the “Tiger King” stars have had the best outcome after the show, but the show almost highlighted the awful things they were doing. It was crazier and more confusing than what was happening in the beginning of quarantine, and that is why it went viral. However, the show ultimately changed some of the stars lives for the worse.