17 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Netflix’s Tiger King

Image Credit: Netflix

Most of America is obsessed with the Netflix documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. I mean, it’s like a car accident made of mullets, guns, exotic animals, cult leaders, drugs, harems, and a woman who might have (definitely) murdered her husband.

If you’re one of the many, well, these 17 behind-the-scenes facts are just for you.

17. Joe faked having cancer to raise money.

Lest you get too mired in the idea that Joe Exotic needs to be “saved,” remember that he raised money on Facebook by telling people he was dying from prostate and bone marrow cancer.

16. Joe Exotic’s employees all signed NDAs.

Investigative reporter Robert Moor learned that signing a non-disclosure agreement was a requirement to work at Joe’s zoo.

“People often ask why no one at Joe’s zoo every ‘spoke out.’ Part of the reason was because he made his employees sign a one million dollar non-disclosure agreement. (Which, it turns out, wasn’t legally valid.)”

15. Doc Antle can be seen in a Britney Spears’ video.


In her performance of “I’m a Slave 4 U,” Doc Antle can be seen in the same cage as the singer, holding onto a tiger.

14. Joe Exotic was once a police officer.


After running for president, Exotic did serve a term as a police chief in Eastvale, Texas. He was just 19.

13. Jeff and Lauren are still together.


This couple, who decidedly deserve each other, still manage the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park together and still plan to wed in 2020.

12. Carole Baskin has a super sketchy relationship history.

After her second husband disappeared and before marrying Mr. Baskin, Carole dated a man named Jay Baykal. Baykal filed a restraining order against Carole claiming she’d referenced her husband’s disappearance in a menacing way.

11. There were once plans for a strip club/petting zoo in Wynnewood.

It was Jeff Lowe and Joe Exotic’s brain child, but thankfully, “Tigers and Dreams” never materialized.

10. Joe Exotic also had a previous spouse…and he’s no Boy Scout.


According to New York Magazine, Joe Exotic’s previous husband wasn’t a part of the series – and that’s because J.C. Hartpenceis currently serving a life sentence for murder.

9. All Joe ever wanted was to be famous.


According to director Eric Goode, the success of the docuseries has fulfilled all of Joe Exotic’s dreams.

“He’s absolutely ecstatic about the series and the idea of being famous. He’s absolutely thrilled. You can hardly talk to him without him mentioning the amount of press he’s getting.”

8. John Finlay is almost unrecognizable now.


Glow up extraordinaire.

7. He’s also a father now, and will soon be a husband.


Finlay is currently engaged to a different woman than the one he left Exotic for, though the couple do share a daughter.

6. The zoo is still open.


Jeff Lowe renamed the zoo the Greater Wynnewood Animal Park and is currently working on moving to a new location.

5. Joe Exotic owned one of Michael Jackson’s alligators.

It wasn’t one of the ones who perished in the fire discussed in the series.

Moor reportedly started looking into Exotic when theΒ Los Angeles TimesΒ published a storyΒ about Michael Jackson’s alligators burning in a fire. While it turns out ExoticΒ didΒ have an alligator from Neverland Ranch, it didn’t die in the fire.

4. A scripted series starring Kate McKinnon is in the works.


She’s set to play Carole Baskin in the unnamed upcoming series.

3. Joe thought he could breed the sabertooth tiger back into existence.


New York Magazine claims Exotic was trying to create a hybrid species that would bring back the prehistoric sabertooth tiger – a goal biologists say is impossible.

2. We might be getting a Season 2.


Co-director Rebecca Chaiklin said that Netflix has “a crazy amount of footage and it’s a story that’s still unfolding. We’re not sure yet, but there could be a follow-up on this story …and it’ll be just as dramatic and just as colorful as what has unfolded these past few years.”

1. Dillon Passage and Joe Exotic are still married.

The 24-year-old is still married to 57-year-old Joe Exotic, and in an interview, Passage said Joe “doesn’t want me to be alone, but he also doesn’t want me to move on.”

Whatever that means.

I’ll fully admit that I couldn’t wait to check these out – I just can’t make myself look away!

Have you watched the series? What are your thoughts and takeaways?

Let’s talk in the comments!