If you missed our recap of Tiger King – Episode 1, read it here.
This episode opens up with a good ol’ fashioned tiger mauling. Classic tigers! One of the employees at the G.W. Zoo stuck her arm through the cage and a tiger chewed it up like a toothpick, which I’m sure is a very relevant reference for rural Oklahoma. Kelci “Saff” Saffery was the victim and she said her hand still worked, but the next day, the doctor came in and said it will take about two years of reconstructive surgery… or they can amputate. And you’ll never guess which one Saffery chose. Amputation. Classic Saff!
Gotta hand it to her (because she only has one), she handled getting gnawed by a tiger a lot better than I would’ve, because within a week of amputating her damn arm, she was right back to work. She went back to work to help with public relations with the park – which as this series goes on, might make her the only person who cares about the park’s public relations.
The documentary thought, while we’re on the subject of talking about people missing limbs, let’s run down the complete roster.
Meet John Reinke, the G.W. Zoo manager. He’s actually missing both of his legs. Why? Did he get mauled by tigers too? No. He lost his legs in a damn zip-lining accident. Of course. In fact, I’m pretty sure the number two cause of injury amongst people who work at non-regulated big cat zoos is zip lining accidents. A close third is probably something with fireworks.
He starts his appearance in this episode by laying in a pallet built out of sectional sofa pieces saying, “Nothing is cooler, sexier and more significant than the world we live in today than a tiger.” That’s a bold claim, even for a bleached soul-path rocking exotic big cat trainer. He also said, “Anyone who says they don’t [love tigers] is just insecure and broken.”
Be right back, I’m gonna go book an appointment with my therapist.
Joe Exotic not only breeds cats, he sells them too. Which apparently is illegal. And this leads us to meet Tim Stark.
Oh dammit, we have ANOTHER tiger owner.
Tim admits to have bought hundreds of tigers from Joe Exotic. Because despite being against the law, he feels like to make an endangered species non-endangered, you should “make more!” I mean, it’s hard to argue against that logic, but it’s also hard to agree with someone sitting on a front porch in a cutoff tee, a cowboy hat and a monkey sitting on his lap.
Did you think we were done introducing you to tiger owners?
When you hear the name Mario, you probably immediately think of plumbers. This Mario probably worked with pipes, but he was no plumber. He was one of the biggest drug dealers in the history of Florida – which is even more impressive than being the biggest spicy meatball dealers in the history of Italy.
Mario lives in a bunker in Miami and nobody knows what he does. He’s extremely private. Part of that may be because he allegedly used to use exotic animals to smuggle drugs. He was a coke kingpin, no big deal. And that’s not a joke either, apparently people believe he and his family were the basis for the movie Scarface, which is only slightly cooler than Joe Exotic being the basis for the movie Joe Dirt.
Mario said, “I sold drugs to maintain my animal habit.”
Uh huh. Suuuure, Mario. And the Real Housewives do their TV show to maintain their botox habit.
Another fun story about Mario is that he and his crew once shot an ATF agent, and chopped up his body and burned it. Classic Mario! Apparently, that’s illegal and he was given 100 years in jail. But he won an appeal and only had to serve 12. That’s some kind of appeal lawyer he’s got to go from serving a century to just a dozen years for not only killing an ATF agent, but then tossing him on your Big Green Egg.
When nobody knows exactly how many wives you have, that’s a pretty tell-tale sign that you’re horny AF. This is actually probably the least shocking part of this seven episode dosuseries, because Doc and hi sScott Spiezio facial hair gives off major Sister Wives vibes.
That’s when we meet Barbara Fisher, who was titled Doc’s apprentice, but we all know what that really means. Barb lives in Ames, Iowa currently, but she spent many years down in South Carolina working for Bhagavan, which actually means “Lord.” It’s the master of the universe, the all-knowing, all-seeing kind of guy, which isn’t entirely fitting, because Doc clearly has never seen a mirror before.
Bhagavan “Doc” Antle is essentially the Harvey Weinstein of big cat owners. He would encourage women to sleep with him to climb the career ladder. Doc would choose the outfits that the women on site had to wear. So he chose modest, proper attire for training and dealing with exotic cats. No, I’m kidding. He basically had these women dressed in cat cosplay. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman suit would’ve been proper church attire compared to what Bhagavan had these women dress in.
Doc Antle got very defensive when he was asked if his tiger sanctuary was a cult. And I get it. Would a cult make the people on site wear certain clothes? Would a cult make people get boob jobs even when they didn’t agree to it? And would a cult make people change their names from Michelle to Chine or Meredith to Moksha or Renee to Rajnee, or freaking Barbara to Bala? Does that sound like a damn cult to you?! (Don’t answer that.)
Antle has people work around the clock at his
cult tiger sanctuary and pays them $100 a week, which doesn’t seem like much money at all until you learn how much Carole Baskin pays her employees.
Zero dollars. As in the same amount of dollars that Joe Exotic has paid a stylist.
She has people work for her as “volunteers.” Literally hundreds of people work for her just to be near cats and get color-coated t-shirts. It’s insane that she makes literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on this tiger sanctuary and has no cost for the people who up keep it. She has a moral obligation to free cats from captivity, but not humans apparently. Who else is going to help maintain the tigers while she’s out on her Tour de France bike ride through the sanctuary every day?
Meanwhile, Joe Exotic is somewhere in between. He has his employees sleep in trailers and eat whatever food they pick out from the Wal-Mart meat truck?
What’s the Wal-Mart meat truck? I’m so glad you asked. The Wal-Mart meat truck is a truck that would deliver any expired, near expiration, or food that just couldn’t be paid for, but could also not be returned to the shelves because, well, laws and stuff. Joe somehow would get the throw away meat and have it delivered to his zoo. But before they would feed it to the tigers, he would let his staff go through it to pick out the best stuff. Gross? Not really. Extremely gross? Most definitely. But speaking of loving meat…
Joe Exotic describes himself as being gayer than $3 dollar bill. And you don’t get to that level of gay with only one husband. So Joe has two. There’s Jon, who was described as a muscled up, bullied kind of guy, who has a Joe Exotic tattoo in his upper pelvis area. Travis, a musclebound skateboard kind of guy. And then there’s Travis, who moved to the park as a 19-year-old, and has the biggest hands on planet earth. How do I know? Because Joe Exotic wouldn’t stop talking about how big and great his hands were. Joe felt like Jack Dawson the way he kept talking about his hands.
Joe essentially talked Travis into being gay with him, which I imagine he’d have to with that haircut. So Trav pretty much said, “Sure, why not?” And before you know it Joe Exotic, Jon and Travis all got married together in the same pink button ups that looked like they bought together at Express.
“Hello all you cool cats and kittens.”
Carole sure does spend a lot of time on the Internet. Especially for a woman who has many large exotic cats literally sitting in her backyard.
But I kind of understand why. She has over 2 million likes on her Facebook and makes like $23,000 a week from Facebook views alone. Good. Maybe that will help to double her employees’ salaries.
Then again, it’s pretty obvious to see why she’s popular on the internet when she’s pumping out content this good.
I take back anything negative I said about Joe Exotic’s music. My gosh.
If Van Gogh heard this song, he would’ve cut off his only remaining ear.
Props to the Tiger King filmmaker Eric for having to sit down in Carole Baskin’s living room and not only watch this with them while Carole and her husband played footsie and romanticized over this horrific music video, but by keeping a straight face while doing so. I know that must’ve been the most challenging part for him.
All this social media presence is though is good PR. Carole is making it look like she runs some tiger sanctuary, when really it’s worse than both Joey Exotic’s and Doc Antle’s. How do we know?
Joe went on a recon mission to check out Big Cat Sanctuary himself. He heard there were 100 cats on site, but only saw 12 on their tour. So Joe packed up his stuff and just went home.
Lol, yeah right.
Joe went to the closest airfield and rented a damn helicopter to fly overhead to see if he could see where she kept the other tigers. Classic Joe.
And it has nothing to do with where she keeps the rest of her big cats.
During one interview, one guy casually mentioned how Carole inherited all her money from her dead husband who went missing one day.
Yup. Sweet little innocent Carole Baskin who fights for tiger rights while housing them in cages smaller than most Manhattan apartments has a dirty little secret: her second husband of 16 years, who was a multi-millionaire, just went missing one day.
All of the people in the large cat world know about it. Even Mario – who literally barbecued a human – is like, “Yeah, her husband’s dead. Buried on her property. It’s weird.” WHEN MARIO THINKS A VICIOUS CRIME IS WEIRD, THEN IT’S FREAKING WEIRD, Y’ALL!
Some people think she killed him and fed him to her tigers. And that’s where the episode ended.
Well done, Netflix. As if the “NEXT EPISODE” button during credits wasn’t enough to get me to binge this show, you leave me with a cliff-hanger like that?!
I’ll leave you with this.
If you missed our recap of Tiger King – Episode 1, read it here.
Check back soon for the recaps of the rest of the episodes.