Joe Exotic ‘is terrified of big cats’ and other revelations from the Tiger King reunion special


On Sunday, Netflix laid an Easter egg in the form of a Tiger King bonus episode titled ‘The Tiger King and I,’ which reunited eight people featured in its No. 1 docuseries.

The biggest revelation was when Joe Exotic TV producer Rick Kirkham told host Joel McHale that former GW Exotic Animal Park owner Joe ‘Exotic’ Maldonado-Passage is actually ‘terrified of big cats.’

‘He was scared to death of lions and tigers,’ Kirkham revealed in the 40-minute special. 

‘The Tiger King and I’: On Sunday, Netflix laid an Easter egg in the form of a Tiger King bonus episode, which reunited eight people featured in its No. 1 docuseries

‘And in the shots that you see in there, where he’s in with the two tigers, the white one and the other one – the white one is blind and the other one is on tranquilizers. It’s idiotic to think how he’s become famous as “The Tiger King” when he’s so terrified of big cats.’

Rick – now living in Norway – said he regrets ever meeting the 57-year-old former roadside zookeeper and recounted a particularly unsavory story about him shooting an old horse he rescued for ‘tiger meat.’

The highly-anticipated reunion took a dark turn when McHale interviewed Joe’s gubernatorial campaign manager Joshua Dial, who discussed the accidental shooting death of Joe’s husband Travis Maldonado.

‘I was looking at him in the eyes when he did it, and I could see the surprise and fear in his eyes. I mean basically, translated, he’s like, “Oh crap, what did I just do?”‘ Dial recalled.  

Say what? The biggest revelation was when Joe Exotic TV producer Rick Kirkham (L) told host Joel McHale (R) that former GW Exotic Animal Park owner Joe 'Exotic' Maldonado-Passage is actually 'terrified of big cats'

Say what? The biggest revelation was when Joe Exotic TV producer Rick Kirkham (L) told host Joel McHale (R) that former GW Exotic Animal Park owner Joe ‘Exotic’ Maldonado-Passage is actually ‘terrified of big cats’

Kirkham revealed in the 40-minute special: 'He (L) was scared to death of lions and tigers. And in the shots that you see in there, where he's in with the two tigers, the white one (R) and the other one (M) - the white one is blind and the other one is on tranquilizers'

Kirkham revealed in the 40-minute special: ‘He (L) was scared to death of lions and tigers. And in the shots that you see in there, where he’s in with the two tigers, the white one (R) and the other one (M) – the white one is blind and the other one is on tranquilizers’

Witnessed Joe's cruelty first-hand: Rick- now living in Norway - said he regrets ever meeting the 57-year-old former roadside zookeeper and recounted a particularly unsavory story about him shooting an old horse he rescued for 'tiger meat'

Witnessed Joe’s cruelty first-hand: Rick- now living in Norway – said he regrets ever meeting the 57-year-old former roadside zookeeper and recounted a particularly unsavory story about him shooting an old horse he rescued for ‘tiger meat’

‘I had to go in that office every day and sit in that same chair and look at that bullet hole in the wall every day for a year and a half after Travis killed himself.’

Joshua’s trauma continues but he said Maldonado-Passage – whom he calls a ‘bats*** crazy person’ – never got meds or grief therapy and instead visited a shaman, which only ‘worsened his condition.’

Both Joe’s ex-husband John Finlay and GW Exotic Animal Park keeper Erik Cowie used the special to refute allegations they were meth heads.

‘I was portrayed as a drugged-out hillbilly and that was not me then,’ Finlay noted. 

Traumatized: The highly-anticipated reunion took a dark turn when McHale interviewed Joe's gubernatorial campaign manager Joshua Dial (L), who discussed the accidental shooting death of Joe's husband Travis Maldonado

Traumatized: The highly-anticipated reunion took a dark turn when McHale interviewed Joe’s gubernatorial campaign manager Joshua Dial (L), who discussed the accidental shooting death of Joe’s husband Travis Maldonado

Dial recalled: 'I was looking at him in the eyes when he did it, and I could see the surprise and fear in his eyes. I mean basically, translated, he's like, "Oh crap, what did I just do?"'

Dial recalled: ‘I was looking at him in the eyes when he did it, and I could see the surprise and fear in his eyes. I mean basically, translated, he’s like, “Oh crap, what did I just do?”‘

'Bats*** crazy person': Joshua said Maldonado-Passage (pictured with the late Travis) never got meds or grief therapy and instead visited a shaman, which only 'worsened his condition'

‘Bats*** crazy person’: Joshua said Maldonado-Passage (pictured with the late Travis) never got meds or grief therapy and instead visited a shaman, which only ‘worsened his condition’

‘At that time I was four to five years clean…When my daughter was born, I decided to never touch another drug ever again. I am now six years clean.’

GW Exotic Animal Park keeper Saff revealed the video of him having his arm bitten off by a tiger was actually used as an ’employee safety video’ for years.

Out of the eight people interviewed, Saff was the most sympathetic towards Joe, who’s now serving a 22-year prison sentence for a murder-for-hire plot among other crimes.

‘I think justice was served. But I still don’t want to see that man die in prison,’ Saff (born Kelci Saffery) shrugged. 

'I am now six years clean': Joe's ex-husband John Finlay used the special to refute allegations he was a meth head

'I used to have a drinking problem and now I do not': GW Exotic Animal Park keeper Erik Cowie used the special to refute allegations he was a meth head

‘I am now six years clean’: Both Joe’s ex-husband John Finlay (L) and GW Exotic Animal Park keeper Erik Cowie (R) used the special to refute allegations they were meth heads

Cautionary tale: GW Exotic Animal Park keeper Saff revealed the video of him having his arm bitten off by a tiger was actually used as an 'employee safety video' for years

Cautionary tale: GW Exotic Animal Park keeper Saff revealed the video of him having his arm bitten off by a tiger was actually used as an ’employee safety video’ for years

'I don't want to see that man die in prison': Out of the eight people interviewed, Saff was the most sympathetic towards Joe, who's now serving a 22-year prison sentence for a murder-for-hire plot among other crimes

‘I don’t want to see that man die in prison’: Out of the eight people interviewed, Saff was the most sympathetic towards Joe, who’s now serving a 22-year prison sentence for a murder-for-hire plot among other crimes

‘I’ve seen him give the jacket off his back for people. And I think that wasn’t highlighted enough. Joe did a lot of messed up stuff. That’s a fact, and that’s shown, and now the entire world knows it. But he did a lot of good things, too.’

GW Exotic Animal Park owners Jeff & Lauren Lowe think Maldonado-Passage is right ‘where he belongs’ inside the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, and he denies ever setting him up.

‘That’s just a complete crock of s***,’ Jeff blasted. 

'That's just a complete crock of s***!' GW Exotic Animal Park owners Jeff & Lauren Lowe think Maldonado-Passage is right 'where he belongs' inside the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, and he denies ever setting him up

‘That’s just a complete crock of s***!’ GW Exotic Animal Park owners Jeff & Lauren Lowe think Maldonado-Passage is right ‘where he belongs’ inside the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, and he denies ever setting him up

Jeff said: 'You guys saw all the videos that Joe was posting. Joe was his own worst enemy. I mean, he should have gotten up on the stand and testified against himself - because those videos where he's shooting Carole [Baskin], hanging Carole, blowing Carole up, putting rattlesnakes in her mailbox, "Who's gonna finish this b****? Who's gonna go get this b****?" Joe didn't get set up. Joe killed the tigers; he admitted to killing the tigers from jail'

Jeff said: ‘You guys saw all the videos that Joe was posting. Joe was his own worst enemy. I mean, he should have gotten up on the stand and testified against himself – because those videos where he’s shooting Carole [Baskin], hanging Carole, blowing Carole up, putting rattlesnakes in her mailbox, “Who’s gonna finish this b****? Who’s gonna go get this b****?” Joe didn’t get set up. Joe killed the tigers; he admitted to killing the tigers from jail’

Light at the end of the tunnel? On Wednesday, President Donald Trump told a New York Post reporter he'd 'look into' possibly pardoning the gun-toting openly gay polygamist (pictured March 22)

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump (pictured Wednesday) told a New York Post reporter he'd 'look into' possibly pardoning the gun-toting openly gay polygamist

Light at the end of the tunnel? On Wednesday, President Donald Trump (R) told a New York Post reporter he’d ‘look into’ possibly pardoning the gun-toting openly gay polygamist (L)

‘You guys saw all the videos that Joe was posting. Joe was his own worst enemy. I mean, he should have gotten up on the stand and testified against himself – because those videos where he’s shooting Carole [Baskin], hanging Carole, blowing Carole up, putting rattlesnakes in her mailbox, “Who’s gonna finish this b****? Who’s gonna go get this b****?” Joe didn’t get set up. Joe killed the tigers; he admitted to killing the tigers from jail.’ 

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump told a New York Post reporter he’d ‘look into’ possibly pardoning the gun-toting openly gay polygamist, who ran for President in 2016 and Oklahoma Governor in 2018.

And while Joe loves Tiger King, his nemesis Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin has been receiving death threats over the allegations she murdered her millionaire first husband Don Lewis, who went missing in 1997.  

MIA from special: And while Joe loves Tiger King, his nemesis Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin (L) has been receiving death threats over the allegations she murdered her millionaire first husband Don Lewis, who went missing in 1997

MIA from special: And while Joe loves Tiger King, his nemesis Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin (L) has been receiving death threats over the allegations she murdered her millionaire first husband Don Lewis, who went missing in 1997 

The 58-year-old animal activist wrote on her website: 'Don was not easy to live with and like most couples we had our moments. But I never threatened him and I certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance'

The 58-year-old animal activist wrote on her website: ‘Don was not easy to live with and like most couples we had our moments. But I never threatened him and I certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance’

MIA from special: Myrtle Beach Safari owner Bhagavan 'Doc' Antle (L) is also not a fan of the binge-watching favorite and denied allegations he euthanized tiger cubs and kept a harem of wives in a March 31 interview with TMX.news (pictured March 25)

MIA from special: Myrtle Beach Safari owner Bhagavan ‘Doc’ Antle (L) is also not a fan of the binge-watching favorite and denied allegations he euthanized tiger cubs and kept a harem of wives in a March 31 interview with TMX.news (pictured March 25)

‘Don was not easy to live with and like most couples we had our moments. But I never threatened him and I certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance,’ the 58-year-old animal activist wrote on her website.

‘When he disappeared, I did everything I could to assist the police. I encouraged them to check out the rumors from Costa Rica, and separately I hired a private investigator.’

Myrtle Beach Safari owner Bhagavan ‘Doc’ Antle is also not a fan of the binge-watching favorite and denied allegations he euthanized tiger cubs and kept a harem of wives in a March 31 interview with TMX.news. 

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