Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Tiger King: Rick Kirkham comes forward with disturbing Joe Exotic story that didn't make it into documentary

He called Exotic ‘unbelievably cruel’

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 12 April 2020 16:04 BST
Tiger King, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Official Trailer

One of the stars of Tiger King has revealed a disturbing alleged experience with Joe Exotic that was left out of the hit Netflix series.

Ahead of his appearance on a brand new aftershow that sees Joel McHale interview several faces from the documentary, TV producer Rick Kirkham spoke to E! News about his time working with the eccentric tiger trader.

He claims that one day a woman came to Exotic’s GW reserve in Oklahoma with a horse that she wanted him to look after.

He says that Exotic – after telling Kirkham to roll his camera – reassured the woman he would give the horse a nice life.

However, the moment she left, Kirkham alleges that Exotic “walked up, pulled a gun out of his holster and shot the horse dead in the trailer”.

He stated: “He then cut it up with a chainsaw and fed it to the tigers that day.”

Kirkham also shared the story in the new Netflix special, which is titled Tiger King and I. In it, he calls Exotic “unbelievably cruel”.

Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison for hiring someone to kill his rival, the animal rights activist Carole Baskin, as well as for killing tigers to make more room in his nature reserve.

In the Netflix special, Kirkham claims that Exotic jokingly said he would make him rich if he killed Baskin for him, and said he still suffers nightmares about the time he spent working alongside him.

Find a full transcript of all the things the documentary’s stars say about Exotic in the aftershow here.

The Tiger King and I is available to stream on Netflix now.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in