Tiger King: Joe Exotic made bizarre appearance on 2011 Louis Theroux documentary

‘I’d just shoot you – it would be more humane,’ Exotic tells an incredulous Theroux at one stage

Jacob Stolworthy@Jacob_Stol
Thursday 02 April 2020 09:14
Tiger King's Joe Exotic on Louis Theroux documentary in 2011

Tiger King subject Joe Exotic made his TV debut in a Louis Theroux documentary nine years ago.

Exotic is the eccentric tiger trader at the centre of the “bonkers” Netflix series. In a Twitter post, Theroux highlighted his encounter with the man himself in America’s Most Dangerous Pets, which was originally broadcast in October 2011.

The synopsis reads: “Travelling to America’s heartlands, Louis Theroux spends time with an Oklahoma man who has bred and collected over 150 tigers, visits the woman who privately owns one of America’s largest collections of chimpanzees, and finds himself in uncomfortably close contact with a number of big cats and dangerous primates.

Theroux’s special sees him follow Exotic as he goes about his daily routine as part of GW Exotic Animal Foundation in Oklahoma.

One moment sees him tell Theroux that if he were to get into the cage with his tigers, he would shoot him to spare him a grisly fate.

“If he was to get you and not kill you and eat you right away, he’s going to torment you,” Exotic said. “So, if you were to get in there and I was out here trying to get you out he would be on top of you covering you up. I’d just shoot you, it would be more humane.”

Incredulous, Theroux replies: “You would shoot me? In the head?”

Exotic is also seen expressing excitement over an oncoming tornado, which is immediately followed by Theroux narrating: “The day before in neighbouring Missouri, a tornado had killed more than 150 people.”

The episode is available to watch on BBC iPlayer here

Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence for a number of charges, including two counts of murder-for-hire.

Theroux promised to share his full thoughts on Netflix’s seven-part documentary, which was one of the streaming service’s most-watched original titles in March.

Exotic – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – was jailed last year for 22 years, for crimes including trying to hire someone to murder Baskin, and for various crimes related to endangered species and conservation.

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