57 Facts About Joe Exotic


In 2016, Joe Exotic ran as an independent in the 2016 presidential election.


In 2023, Joe Exotic announced his candidacy in the 2024 presidential election as a Democrat.


Joe Exotic has been featured in several documentaries, including the Netflix series Tiger King, a documentary about Joe Exotic's career as a zookeeper and his feud with Baskin.


The success of the first season of Tiger King amid the worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns led to Joe Exotic receiving attention on social media and inspiring several internet memes.


Joe Exotic was born Joseph Allen Schreibvogel in Garden City, Kansas, on March 5,1963, to parents Francis and Shirley Schreibvogel.


The Schreibvogel family moved to Texas, where Joe Exotic was enrolled at Pilot Point High School.


Joe Exotic was outed to his parents as being homosexual by his estranged older brother Yarri, and in response their father made Exotic shake his hand and promise not to come to his funeral.

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Joe Exotic has said that he was badly injured in 1985 when he crashed his police cruiser into a bridge, although his claims about the wreck have changed over time: In 2019, he told Texas Monthly that the incident was a spontaneous suicide attempt, but he told The Dallas Morning News in 1997 that he was forced off the road by an unidentified vehicle during a drug investigation.


In 1997 his brother was killed in an auto accident, and Joe Exotic sold the pet shop and purchased a 16-acre Oklahoma farm with his parents.


In 2000, Joe Exotic acquired his first two tigers, which had been abandoned.


Joe Exotic said that the first animal rescue in his career as a zookeeper was an eleven-foot alligator with a severe eye infection.


Joe Exotic left the zoo on June 18,2018, three months before his arrest.


In 2021, Joe Exotic stated that his whole outlook on animals in captivity has changed while he's been in jail, and he now believes that "no animal belongs in a cage".


Joe Exotic said that he never would have had a zoo if he had known what life inside a cage was like 20 years ago.


In 2002, seeking a way to earn money to feed his growing number of animals, Joe Exotic partnered with a traveling magician to provide and handle tigers during stage illusions.


The magician and Joe Exotic eventually parted company, but Joe Exotic had realized that using his big cats in magic shows was a good way to earn money.


Joe Exotic began staging traveling magic shows himself and adopted "Joe Exotic" as his stage name.


Joe Exotic soon found that attendees at his magic shows would pay to pet and have their picture taken with tiger cubs, and that these activities were often more lucrative than the magic show itself.


Under the pretense of obtaining music for a planned reality television series, Joe Exotic commissioned country songs from other artists, with his creative contributions reportedly being limited to suggesting song topics and singing some backing vocals.


Joe Exotic produced music videos for the songs and posted them on his YouTube channel, depicting himself as the main performer and taking full credit for the music, allegedly without having notified the actual artists.


Joe Exotic first appeared in Louis Theroux's 2011 documentary America's Most Dangerous Pets.


Theroux stated that Joe Exotic initially struck him as likeable and friendly, and that, owing to Joe Exotic's emotional volatility, Theroux was inclined to be protective of him.


In May 2021, Joe Exotic launched a cryptocurrency to raise revenue for his defense fund as well as charity incentives personal to him.


In June 2021, Joe Exotic launched an NFT auction as part of a collaboration with a cryptocurrency organization.


Joe Exotic intended to send real-life collectibles, including one of his revolvers.

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Joe Exotic ran as an independent candidate in the 2016 United States presidential election, attaining ballot access in Colorado and receiving 962 votes nationwide.


Joe Exotic received 664 votes in the primary, finishing last among the three Libertarian candidates.


On January 13,2017, Joe Exotic filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president as a Libertarian in the 2020 Libertarian Party presidential primaries.


On March 13,2023, Joe Exotic announced a bid for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in the 2024 election, which he will run from prison.


Joe Exotic's candidacy was criticized by party chair Angela McArdle shortly after he announced it.


Joe Exotic has been strongly criticized for his treatment of animals that he owns, including by Carole Baskin, which eventually led to an investigation by the USDA and convictions for animal abuse.


In February 1999, animal welfare investigators discovered a large number of neglected emus in Red Oak, Texas, and Joe Exotic volunteered to capture the animals and take them to his animal park.


In 2020, Joe Exotic was convicted of falsifying wildlife records in violation of the Endangered Species Act.


Joe Exotic saw Baskin's actions as hypocritical because she operated an animal sanctuary that charged admission, albeit for nonprofit purposes.


Joe Exotic covertly visited Big Cat Rescue in September 2010 and chartered a helicopter to survey the property.


Joe Exotic obtained a copy of Baskin's diary stolen from her computer by a former employee and posted excerpts online.


Evidence of foul play is lacking and Baskin was never named as a suspect; however, Lewis's daughter says that Baskin killed Lewis and fed his body to her tigers, and Joe Exotic used his YouTube show to promote this theory and others relating to Lewis's disappearance, offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Baskin's arrest.


In 2011, Joe Exotic copied the Big Cat Rescue name and various identifying aspects of the sanctuary's branding in his marketing, rebranding his traveling show as "Big Cat Rescue Entertainment" with a Florida phone number.


In May 2020, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma ruled that Joe Exotic fraudulently transferred ownership of the park to his mother to avoid paying debts resulting from the earlier settlement, awarding ownership to Baskin and giving Joe Exotic's former business partner Jeff Lowe until October 1 to vacate the premises.


Kirkham says that Joe Exotic killed some of his own tigers, and that he had video of Joe Exotic killing animals, but it was lost in the fire.


Joe Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison on January 22,2020, and was incarcerated at Federal Medical Center, Fort Worth.


Later that month, Joe Exotic hired John Michael Phillips and Amy Hanna as his attorneys.


In July 2021, a three-judge panel for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Joe Exotic should serve a shorter sentence, saying the convictions for hiring two men to kill Baskin should have been treated as one by the trial court.


In prison, Joe Exotic has been allowed to use a computer for 30 minutes at a time, so he worked on his book every day.


Joe Exotic inspired several Internet memes, most of which were based on his quotes in Tiger King.

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Carole Baskin

Joe Exotic inspired the ongoing "Free Joe Exotic" campaign, started by fans who believed he was wrongly convicted.


Joe Exotic was transferred from FMC Fort Worth to Federal Medical Center, Butner in North Carolina in November 2021.


Joe Exotic is an ordained minister in the state of Oklahoma and is able to officiate marriages.


Joe Exotic obtained his ministerial ordination from the Universal Life Church.


Joe Exotic is gay and has referred to numerous partners as his husband despite them not being legally married.


Joe Exotic's first known male partner was Brian Rhyne, who died of complications from HIV in 2001.


In 2015, Joe Exotic legally wed Maldonado and his legal name became Joseph Maldonado.


Joe Exotic initially wished the couple well, but stated that he would have liked to have been told by Passage himself rather than TMZ.


Joe Exotic stated to have had four heart attacks during his career as a zookeeper.


For safety precautions, Joe Exotic was moved from Grady County Jail in Oklahoma to Federal Medical Center and began a 14-day quarantine.


Tiger King fans speculated that Joe Exotic had COVID-19, but Dillon Passage confirmed to fans that he did not.


On May 14,2021, it was reported that Joe Exotic had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and approved testing to verify what stage it is in.