Joe Exotic gained fame as the owner of Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, which housed more than 200 big cats. However, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for animal cruelty charges and a murder-for-hire scheme. After the documentary “Tiger King” was released, people wondered about the fate of Joe’s tigers. This article explores the current homes of Joe’s tigers and the challenges faced by those who care for them.
The Big Cat Rescue in Florida
In Florida, 19 tigers from Joe’s park were transferred to the Big Cat Rescue by the Animal Welfare Institute and Carole Baskin. The tigers adjusted well to their new environment and have access to large enclosures, excellent veterinary care, and enrichment activities.
Safe Haven Rescue Zoo in Nevada
Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, owned by Pat Craig, took in four tigers from Joe’s park. Tigers at Safe Haven have large outdoor habitats, regular play and enrichment activities, and help raise awareness on the issue of captive animal breeding.
Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue of California and Arizona
Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue of California and Arizona received two lions named Bonedigger and Abby from Joe’s park. They reside in California’s Big Cat Rescue, which has large outdoor habitats and offers daily enrichment activities.
Many of Joe’s tigers remain in unknown locations, which is a pressing issue for animal welfare advocates. Tiger parts are used in traditional Chinese medicine, which has led to the poaching of tigers in the wild. Advocates are calling for better regulations around the private ownership of big cats.
Joe Exotic’s Tigers: A Cautionary Tale
The story of Joe Exotic and his tigers is a cautionary tale about the dangers of exotic animal breeding and private ownership. It highlights the need for stricter regulations to ensure the welfare of big cats. The tigers that have found new homes are fortunate, but there are still many that have fallen through the cracks.
The fate of Joe Exotic’s tigers is a reminder that the welfare of captive big cats must always be the top priority. They should not be kept as pets, entertainment, or status symbols. Stricter regulations and more accredited sanctuaries are needed to ensure their long-term care and protection.