Tiger King Sheds Light on Private Zoos

Do private zoo owners care more for their animals or making millions


Netflix Press Release

Netflix’s newly released docu-series captures the danger of illegally owned animals to bring their owners success.

Avery Marr, Staff Writer

A newly released docu-series by the name of, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness premiered on Netflix on the 20th of March. American Filmmaker, Director Eric Goode produced an astonishing inside look of the illegal big cat community within the United States. The series focuses on the drama and literal mayhem that this community causes.

Throughout the docuseries, viewers become familiar with the ‘Tiger King’ himself, Joe Exotic. Joe is most well known as being the owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. Located in Oklahoma, he became one of the most well known private zoo owners. Joe Exotic becomes notoriously ugly throughout this series as his devilish antics are brought to light. Eric Goode focuses heavily on Joe’s day to day activities in the park and how he makes money, with some glimpses into his political campaign and polyamorous relationship. Joe claims he has always had a strong attachment to tigers and created the zoo in his dead brothers’ memory. Joe exploits tiger cubs and other animals to gain greater success in the trading and selling of these illegal animals. It is also made clear that he has a deadly rivalry with Carole Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue.

Carole Baskin, another fellow big cat enthusiast, runs her non-profit sanctuary with her husband Howard Baskin. Their park is located in Tampa, Florida. Bound by marriage and love for saving animals, the two take on the park and battle Joe Exotic. Carole becomes a public figure among Facebook and shares how Joe Exotic’s type of zoo differs from her own. Therefore creating their deadly rivalry over their popular social media following. Besides her business, Carole is also wrapped in a murder mystery. Her past husband disappeared unexpectedly and rumor has it, Carole fed him to the tigers.

The documentary also focuses briefly on Bhagavan (Doc) Antle,  the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari. He is yet another wildlife enthusiast, located in South Carolina. Doc Antle stays off to the side for the majority of the docuseries but still sheds light upon the big cat industry. Doc, similar to Joe, exploits animals to the public. His biggest controversy are his workers, as Doc hires many young, female apprentices that are groomed to become his love interests. If that’s not gross enough, he has five girlfriends. Women, in his park, are made to be desirable and rake in money.

Tiger King consists of one season and the drama is split between seven episodes. Each episode ranges between 40-50 minutes. The episodes are packed fill with murder, tigers, and lunatics. Each episode gives you a closer glimpse of how the big cat industry truly works. The show is extremely well produced and captivating to a range of audiences. There is not a minute that isn’t jaw-dropping or hysterical. Eric Goode did an amazing job of collecting each and everyone’s perspective on the industry.

Ten out of ten, there is no doubt that I recommend Tiger King. Not only is this show amazingly directed but it truly allows you to feel vulnerable for the animals. The directing makes you want to side with one of these zoos, but all in all, you’re made to understand that no one is the good guy. These private zoo owners strictly care about making money and barley for the animals. Without this show, I would never have seen the animal abuse that occurs within these zoos. It was extremely eye-opening and horrific. If you are ever in need of an extremely captivating and jaw-dropping docuseries, check out Tiger King. It is available on Netflix with every episode aired, perfect for binging.

If you enjoy the series, an additional episode was just released to catch up with the people in the series after their show took over the internet.