The Mystery of Joe Exotic’s Third Husband: Where is Travis Maldonado Now?
Joe Exotic, the flamboyant star of the hit Netflix documentary series Tiger King, has been in the headlines lately for all the wrong reasons. The former zoo owner is currently serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison for animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot against his rival, Carole Baskin. But there’s another mystery surrounding Joe Exotic that has captivated the public’s attention: where is his third husband now?
The Tragic Death of Travis Maldonado
For those who haven’t watched Tiger King, here’s a quick recap: Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, ran a roadside zoo in Oklahoma that was home to more than 200 tigers, lions, and other big cats. He also had a tumultuous personal life that involved multiple marriages and relationships with both men and women. One of those relationships was with a young man named Travis Maldonado, who became Joe Exotic’s third husband in 2017.
Travis was only 19 years old when he met Joe Exotic, and he had no previous experience working with big cats. But he quickly became a favorite of Joe’s and was given a lot of responsibility at the zoo, including handling the tigers. However, Travis’s life ended tragically just a few months after he married Joe. On October 6, 2017, Travis accidentally shot himself in the head while playing with a gun at the zoo.
The Controversy Surrounding Travis’s Death
The circumstances surrounding Travis’s death have been the subject of much speculation and controversy. Joe has suggested that Travis was not in a “sane state of mind” when he died, and that he was depressed and under the influence of drugs. Others have questioned why Joe allowed someone with no training to handle dangerous weapons at the zoo, and whether Travis was coerced into marrying Joe in the first place.
Despite the intense media scrutiny that has surrounded Joe Exotic since he became a household name, little is known about what happened to Travis’s family and friends after his death. The show briefly mentions that Travis had a mother and a sister, but they are not interviewed or shown on camera. It’s unclear whether they were involved in Travis’s life while he was with Joe, or whether they have had any contact with Joe since his imprisonment.
John Finlay’s Perspective on Travis’s Death
One person who has spoken out about Travis’s death is John Finlay, one of Joe Exotic’s former husbands who was featured prominently in the documentary. Finlay has said that he believes Travis’s death was a tragic accident, but that Joe bears some responsibility for not providing a safe working environment at the zoo.
“I don’t think he meant to kill himself,” Finlay said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “He just got caught up in a joke that went wrong. It’s hard to say who’s responsible, but I do think Joe should have made sure that everyone on the property was safe.”
Finlay also criticized the way the documentary portrayed his relationship with Joe Exotic, saying that he was not portrayed accurately as a methamphetamine addict and that his teeth were not actually missing.
The Mystery of Travis’s Family
So, where is Travis’s family now? It’s difficult to say, as they have largely stayed out of the public eye. A few news articles have mentioned Travis’s mother, Cheryl, but there has been no in-depth reporting on her or her family’s life since Travis’s death. It’s possible that they have chosen to keep a low profile in order to avoid the media attention that has surrounded Joe Exotic since Tiger King aired.
One thing is clear, however: the memory of Travis Maldonado will always be intertwined with the bizarre and troubled world of Joe Exotic. His life and tragic death have become a symbol of the chaos and danger that can arise when people put their own impulses and desires above the safety of themselves and others.
As for Joe Exotic, he remains behind bars, serving out his sentence in a federal prison in Texas. His fate, like that of his former husband Travis, is a reminder of the consequences of making choices that defy the law and damage others in the process. While we may never learn the full story of what happened to Travis Maldonado after his death, his legacy serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of caution, responsibility, and respect for those around us, both human and animal alike.