Is Joe Exotic still alive? When the first Netflix docuseries came out in 2020, its cast of real-life people who were stranger than fiction was the perfect way to escape the pandemic lockdown. After that, some footage that had already been shot but hadn’t been shown was put together with new material for Netflix’s Tiger King 2, which premiered in November 2021.
It brought back the zoo owners and animal trainers, including Joe (aka Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka the Tiger King), who was in prison at the time for trying to kill his rival, the weird animal activist Carole Baskin.
Now, Joe vs. Carole, a Peacock limited series that starts on March 3 and stars SNL star Kate McKinnon as Baskin and Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic, is a scripted version of the whole story.
But since the first season of Tiger King, what have Joe, Baskin, and the rest of the zoo crew been up to? Some are in jail, some have been arrested, some have sadly died, and some are still allegedly getting away with murder. You can’t make up stuff like this! Here’s what’s going on with Joe Exotic and the rest of the TigerKing cast.
Is Joe Exotic still alive?
Yes, Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is still alive. He will turn 59 on March 5, 2022, just two days after the first episode of Joe vs. Carole airs. (On his birthday, he’s asking for money, ostensibly not for himself but to help a friend.)
The former zoo owner, who had a complex mix of charm, oddness, and evil that made him enjoyable to watch, hasn’t been in the best health either. “With a sad face, I have to tell you that the doctors called me in today to tell me that the results of my prostate biopsy showed aggressive cancer,” he wrote on Twitter in November 2021, along with a picture of a handwritten letter that explained his health. “I’m also still waiting for the results of other tests. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me right now.
John M. Phillips, Joe’s lawyer, said a few more things about his health. “The PSA test is the most often used to check for prostate cancer. Phillips told CNN, “It was high.” “Finally, he got biopsies. They said there was cancer.”
Is Joe Strange in prison?
Yes, Joe was found guilty of trying to kill his archenemy Baskin for money. Baskin is the owner of Big Cat Rescue in Florida, which is a safe place for tigers and other big cats. He was also found guilty of breaking wildlife laws while running his Oklahoma zoo, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, or GW Zoo.
Joe says he is not guilty and isn’t getting the proper medical care in prison. In the letter he tweeted in November 2021, he said, “I need the world to be my voice to be set free.” “They have proof that I didn’t do this, so the US Attorney has no reason to drag this out. So I can go home and treat myself or spend the time I have left with my family.”
Where is Carole Baskin, who was in Tiger King?
Baskin, a conservationist, still runs Florida’s Big Cat Rescue. She has been unequivocal and doesn’t like how she was portrayed on Tiger King. The show focused on the 1997 disappearance of Baskin’s first husband, Don Lewis, and made people think that Baskin had something to do with his death. And based on the trailer, what happened to Lewis will also be a big part of Tiger King 2.
Baskin even tried to sue Netflix to stop them from using old footage of her in Tiger King 2. This would have stopped Season 2 from coming out, but a judge denied the emergency request to stop the show from coming out right away. She might have more options in court, but that won’t stop the video from getting out.
She told Variety in September 2021, “I mean, [Tiger King] was just a reality show disaster.” But she says she will still have to watch Season 2. “My phone wouldn’t stop ringing for three months straight. People were swearing at me and telling me they wanted to burn the house down and kill me, my family, and the cats. So, no matter what Tiger King 2 does, people who have been tricked will react similarly. I’ll have to spend much time explaining how they’ve been tricked, so I’ll have to keep an eye on it.”
Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight, a documentary series on Discovery+ that started on November 13, gives Baskin a chance to be heard. The show is about how horrible the industry for exotic animals is, which is what she thought Tiger King would be about when she first started working on it. “They’re going to be shocked by how much abuse and exploitation goes on behind closed gates,” she told E!. “The public and the media have been in the dark about this for decades.”