Joe Exotic, popularly known as ‘The Tiger King’ after Netflix’s 2020 documentary of the same name, was resentenced to 21 years in prison on January 28, 2022, for his attempts to murder animal welfare activist Carole Baskin.
Born as Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage in 1963, Joe Exotic served briefly as the chief of police in the municipality of Eastvale in Denton County, Texas, following his graduation.
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Joe Exotic also owned a pet shop with his brother around this time, but sold the shop in 1997 after the death of his brother.
Two years later, Exotic founded The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (known by various names, including GW Zoo and Tiger King Park).
As the director of the zoo, Exotic hosted several activities, including magic shows and organising tiger cub petting activities for customers.
However, Exotic became a household name much later, in 2020, with Netflix’s release of ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness’, which received rave reviews in its first season.
By the time of the documentary’s release, Exotic had already been arrested for trying to murder Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin, not once, but twice.
Exotic was arrested in the second half of 2018, months after resigning from his post at the GW Zoo in June.
The US criminal justice system in 2019 found Exotic guilty of attempting to murder Baskin, with one attempt involving an undercover FBI agent who Exotic had tried to pay off.
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Subsequently, the former zookeeper was sentenced to prison for 22 years, in 2020.
Following the 58-year-old’s pleas for leniency in light of the onset of his cancer treatment, Joe Exotic was resentenced to 21 years in prison January 28, 2022, with federal judges refusing to slash more years off his sentence.
Exotic is serving his sentence in Fort Worth, Texas.