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It seems like a lifetime ago that we first feasted our eyes on Netflix’s Tiger King and learned of the bitter feud between former zoo owner Joe Exotic (whose actual name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage) and activist Carole Baskin. The rivalry reached a major turning point when Exotic was arrested on numerous charges, including two counts of murder-for-hire. Exotic, who is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence, is still hoping to get out and is currently aiming to get a pardon from President Trump and, now, Carole Baskin has weighed in on the matter.
Carole Baskin didn’t hold back when discussing the situation, saying that she can’t see why someone would see fit to release Joe Exotic from prison early. For her, the charges against Exotic are reasons why he shouldn’t be pardoned:
I can’t believe that would be a good move for anybody’s political career. Given the fact that he was convicted for two counts of murder for hire and 17 counts of wildlife trafficking and abuse, which included shooting five healthy tigers in the head to make room for some circus cats he wanted. Animal Planet did a poll and the world’s favourite animal is a tiger, so what benefit would anybody have of setting that person loose?
Based on her comments to The Morning Show, it doesn’t sound like Carole Baskin doesn’t care for the idea of Joe Exotic being released from prison early. As of right now, it’s unclear as to whether or not Exotic will actually get his wish.
Joe Exotic has been quite vocal during his incarceration. The Tiger King star gave an interview earlier in the year in which he declared that prison hadn’t made him any less “crazy.” He’s also expressed concerns about his health, especially since he was put in quarantine during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Exotic, who says he suffers from several lingering ailments, expressed fears for his life. At one point, he even claimed that he would be “dead in 2-3 months.” Despite all of this, Exotic is still feeling good about his chances of getting a pardon.
Meanwhile, Carole Baskin actually gained control of Exotic’s former G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park after he failed to pay Baskin $1 million owed to her in a trademark infringement dispute. Baskin was also recently a contestant on Season 29 of Dancing with the Stars, and her inclusion managed to drum up a bit of controversy. She’s also dealing with a legal battle, as she’s being sued for defamation by the family of her late husband, Don Lewis.
It can honestly be said that the Tiger King saga just keeps getting wilder as time goes on. It remains to be seen how things pan out for both Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin in their respective legal situations, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted.
And if you still haven’t seen Netflix’s Tiger King, you can do so by streaming it on Netflix.