Here are 5 things you probably don't know about Netflix's wild docu-series Tiger King.

We’re assuming that by now you are familiar with the wild new Netflix docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. And if you’re not, you need to watch it. Immediately.

This documentary series is unbelievably hard to summarise, but in short, it follows a polyamorous redneck Texan named Joseph Maldonado-Passage aka. Joe Exotic who runs an exotic animal zoo (think tigers, lions, even emus) called the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (GW Zoo). He also has a vendetta against a woman named Carole Baskin who allegedly fed her ex-husband to her tigers. And that is only the beginning.

Watch the trailer here. Post continues below.

Video by Netflix


If you have seen it you’ll understand the madness and want to know much more about this world and the people living in it.

And you are in luck.

Here are five things you probably didn’t already know about Netflix’s wild docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

P.S. spoilers ahead.

1. Joe’s alligators were famous.

Although the documentary focuses mainly on the large cats, there was a much smaller, sad storyline for the alligators where their enclosure was burnt down. But you might not know that they were once owned by Michael Jackson.

Joe Exotic’s ex-husband John Finlay sat down with David Spade in a video interview and explained that the alligators had previously resided at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Also, he explained that the alligators were much more dangerous to be around than the cats due to their huge tails.

2. John Finlay got his teeth fixed.

Hip hip hooray! John Finlay got a new set of teeth.

Tiger King Joe Exotic Carole Baskin
Image: Netflix.

Throughout the documentary, Finlay sported a smile that was missing a few teeth. But thankfully, Finlay told TMZ that he got a brand new set put in last year, however, was very unimpressed that the producers did not feature any photos of them in the documentary.

Image: Facebook/The Truth About John Finlay.

"Yes I have my teeth fixed," he wrote in a Facebook post on the fan page 'The Truth About John Finlay.' "The producers of the Netflix series had video and pictures of this, but chose not to show it."

3. The accident that took John Reinke's legs was far worse than he described

Throughout the documentary, we're shown clips of Joe Exotic's former employee John Reinke putting on and taking off his artificial legs and at one point he explained the terrible accident that led to the amputation of his real legs. However, Reinke didn't explain just how brutal the incident was.


Back in 2010, Reike spoke to the local Oklahoma newspaper and discussed in detail what actually happened. Whilst in Tiger King he explained that it was a ziplining accident, the article states it was actually a bungee-jumping accident - both involving a massive fall.

Not only was there a pulley malfunction, sending Reinke tumbling 55 feet to the ground and crushing his legs, but he didn't actually land on the ground. He landed onto a 6-inch metal stake, piercing his colon and stomach, the paper reports. This led to him having over 20 operations on his feet and legs.

4. No, Shaq is not actually Joe Exotic's friend

If you don't remember NBA star Shaquille O'Neal appearing in the docu-series, we forgive you. There was a lot going on. But yes, Shaq did indeed make a cameo and visited the GW Zoo back in 2014.

Image: Instagram/@gwzoo.

However, last month during an episode of his podcast, The Big Podcast with Shaq, he shared that the two aren't actually friends.

"I was just a visitor. I met this guy, not my friend, don't know him, never had any business dealings with him," said O'Neal.

He continued explaining that he visited the zoo not because of Joe but because of his love for big cats. And when he realised the dodgy world Joe was involved with, he stopped going.

"We’re there and I dropped some donations for the tigers’ foods and all that. We take pictures with tigers. We went back a couple times.


"Then we go back another time and we found out that he’s involved with all the stuff, and then, actually, I stopped going."

5. This wasn't Joe's first documentary

If Joe Exotic's face looks familiar, it might be because he has been in a documentary before. And no, not any old documentary, it was a Louis Theroux documentary.

Back in 2011, Joe featured prominently in Louis Theroux’s BBC documentary America’s Most Dangerous Pets. 

Joe Exotic and Louis Theroux. Image: BBC.

The episode has Theroux travel through the United States, meeting people who own animals like lions, tigers, bears and chimpanzees, normally found in America, Africa and Asia. He speaks to Joe, and a number of other men and women, about why they choose to keep wild and potentially dangerous animals as pets.

But just as Theroux’s time with Joe begins, they receive news that a tornado is imminent, so all Joe’s animals, including 176 tigers, have to go into lockdown. Tornados are particularly dangerous because if they compromise the infrastructure of the zoo, tigers can escape and wreak havoc on the community.

To read more about what happened when Louis Theroux met Joe Exotic, please read our earlier article here.

So basically, the story of Joe Exotic, the GW Zoo and everyone involved, gets crazier after the final episode. Who would've thought?

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