The Strange Saga of Joe Exotic: A Story of Controversy and Scandal
Joe Exotic is a name that has become synonymous with controversy and scandal. The former owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma gained notoriety in the media after the release of the Netflix documentary series ‘Tiger King.’
The Feud with Carole Baskin
The series, which chronicled the world of big cat owners and enthusiasts, highlighted the ongoing feud between Joe and his nemesis, Carole Baskin. While the show touched on Joe’s many questionable practices, the spotlight was quickly turned away from his well-documented abuse of animals towards his strange personal life.
The Strange Relationships
Joe’s relationships with his husbands and boyfriends were a focal point of the documentary, but it was his alleged relationship with a young zoo worker that raised the most eyebrows. Joe’s former employee, Kelci “Saff” Saffery, claimed that Joe had a sexual relationship with a 19-year-old boy who had come to work at the park.
Despite the accusations, Joe continued to assert his innocence, going so far as to deny being gay at all. However, it was later revealed that Joe had been married to two men, John Finlay and Travis Maldonado, at the same time. Joe’s ex-husband, John, has since claimed that their marriage was a sham orchestrated by Joe to take advantage of his younger, vulnerable partner.
Rumors of Involvement in Tiger Disappearance
Rumors have also surfaced regarding his potential involvement in the disappearance of one of his own tigers. In 1997, Joe’s Bengal tiger, Raja, went missing from the zoo, never to be seen or heard from again. While Joe claimed that the tiger had been taken by animal activists, others have speculated that Joe himself may have been behind the big cat’s disappearance.
The Mystery of Joe’s Son
According to a 2019 interview with People Magazine, Joe revealed that he had fathered a son with one of his ex-wives. The boy, who would now be in his early 30s, has never been publicly identified or located. Joe claims that the child’s mother moved away with him when he was just a few months old, and that he has not heard from them since.
However, others have speculated that Joe’s claims are just another of his many lies. In a series of tweets from March 2021, Carole Baskin posed the theory that Joe may have actually sold his son to an exotic animal trafficker. She cited an incident where Joe allegedly offered to sell one of his tiger cubs to a buyer in Texas, claiming that the buyer had promised to pay more if the cub had come from Joe’s personal stock.
The Consequences of Joe’s Actions
Regardless of his guilt or innocence, it is clear that Joe’s actions have had a lasting impact on the lives of those around him. The many animals that he kept in cramped, unsanitary conditions at the park suffered greatly under his care, and many continue to suffer to this day.
In some ways, Joe’s story serves as a warning against the dangers of exotic animal ownership, and the untreated mental health issues that can lead people down dangerous paths. At the same time, it should serve as a call to action for those who would seek to protect and preserve these magnificent creatures – both from those who would exploit them for profit, and from those who would exploit them for personal gain.
The Future of Joe Exotic
As for Joe himself, his future remains uncertain. He is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for a variety of charges, including attempted murder-for-hire against Carole Baskin. Whether or not he will ever be released remains to be seen, but one thing is certain – the controversy surrounding Joe Exotic is far from over.