Sharl Hulbert

Written by Sharl Hulbert

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Joe Exotic, the flamboyant and enigmatic star of the hit Netflix documentary series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness,” has captured the world’s attention with his wild antics and larger-than-life personality. But there is so much more to this controversial figure than meets the eye. In this article, we delve deeper into the fascinating life of Joe Exotic and explore 11 intriguing facts that shed light on his extraordinary journey. From his love for big cats to his failed political aspirations and his ongoing legal battles, Joe Exotic’s story is a captivating mix of fame, eccentricity, and the dark underbelly of the exotic animal industry. Get ready to uncover the untold stories and surprising revelations about one of the most talked-about personalities in recent years.

Key Takeaways:

  • Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, was a flamboyant zoo owner, country music artist, and even ran for President. His feud with Carole Baskin and viral music videos made him a captivating figure.
  • Despite his controversial past and current prison sentence, Joe Exotic continues to fascinate the public. His story, highlighted in the “Tiger King” documentary, sheds light on the exotic animal industry’s dark side.
Table of Contents

Joe Exotic is not his real name.

Believe it or not, Joe Exotic’s real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage. He adopted the name Joe Exotic as he entered the world of entertainment and became the face of his wildlife park.

Joe Exotic owned and operated the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park.

The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, located in Oklahoma, was Joe Exotic’s pride and joy. With a diverse range of exotic animals, the park became a popular attraction for visitors from all over the country.

Joe Exotic was a country music artist.

Aside from running his animal park, Joe Exotic was also a passionate country music singer. He released several albums, some of which featured songs about his love for tigers and his experiences in the wildlife industry.

Joe Exotic ran for President in 2016.

In a surprising turn of events, Joe Exotic decided to enter the world of politics and announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election. Although he didn’t make it very far in the race, his campaign gained attention for its unconventional approach.

Joe Exotic is currently serving a prison sentence.

Unfortunately for Joe Exotic, his legal troubles caught up with him. He is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for a variety of charges, including a murder-for-hire plot targeting his rival, Carole Baskin.

Joe Exotic’s feud with Carole Baskin gained worldwide attention.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Joe Exotic’s story is his ongoing feud with Carole Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue. This feud, highlighted in the popular Netflix documentary series “Tiger King,” captivated audiences around the world.

Joe Exotic was known for his flamboyant fashion sense.

With his signature blonde mullet, exotic shirts, and extravagant jewelry, Joe Exotic had a unique and flamboyant style that made him stand out from the crowd. He embraced his individuality and wasn’t afraid to express himself through fashion.

Joe Exotic’s zoo was a breeding ground for controversy.

The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park faced numerous allegations and controversies over the years. There were concerns about the welfare of the animals, accusations of mistreatment, and violations of animal welfare laws.

Joe Exotic’s music videos became viral sensations.

Joe Exotic’s music videos, often featuring himself surrounded by tigers and other exotic animals, gained a surprising amount of popularity online. Songs like “I Saw a Tiger” and “Here Kitty Kitty” went viral and added to his cult-like following.

Joe Exotic had a passionate following of fans.

Despite his troubled past and controversial actions, Joe Exotic had a dedicated fan base. His charismatic personality and unconventional lifestyle resonated with many, leading to a devoted following that eagerly supported him.

Joe Exotic’s story continues to captivate the public.

Even though Joe Exotic is now behind bars, his story continues to be a subject of fascination and intrigue. The “Tiger King” phenomenon sparked a worldwide interest in the exotic animal industry and shed light on the dark underbelly of the world Joe Exotic inhabited.


In conclusion, Joe Exotic is a truly intriguing figure with a life full of twists and turns. From his days as a zookeeper to his battle with Carole Baskin and his subsequent arrest, his story has captivated the world. Through his music, reality show, and larger-than-life personality, he has managed to gain a dedicated following. While there is controversy surrounding his actions and treatment of animals, there is no doubt that Joe Exotic has left a lasting impact on the world of celebrity culture. Love him or hate him, his story is far from over, and it will be fascinating to see where his journey takes him next.


1. What is Joe Exotic’s real name?

Joe Exotic’s real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage. He later changed it to Joe Exotic, which has become his well-known moniker.

2. Is Joe Exotic currently in prison?

Yes, Joe Exotic is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence. He was convicted on charges of animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin.

3. Did Joe Exotic really run for president?

Yes, Joe Exotic ran for president in 2016 as an independent candidate. Despite his unconventional campaign, he gained some attention and became a popular internet meme.

4. How did Joe Exotic become famous?

Joe Exotic gained fame through his appearance in the docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” released on Netflix in 2020. The show documented his life as a zookeeper and his ongoing feud with Carole Baskin.

5. Is Joe Exotic a country singer?

Yes, Joe Exotic is a country singer and has released several albums throughout his career. His music often centered around his love for big cats and his personal experiences.

6. Will there be a second season of “Tiger King”?

As of now, there are talks of a second season of “Tiger King,” but nothing has been confirmed. The success of the first season and the ongoing popularity of the show make a potential second season highly anticipated.

7. What happened to Joe Exotic’s zoo?

Following his arrest and conviction, Joe Exotic’s zoo, known as the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, was closed down and taken over by Carole Baskin’s organization, Big Cat Rescue.

8. What are Joe Exotic’s legal issues?

Joe Exotic has faced several legal issues throughout his life, including charges of animal abuse, the murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin, and violations of the Endangered Species Act.

9. Has Joe Exotic ever met Carole Baskin?

Yes, Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin have crossed paths multiple times. Their interactions have been marked by animosity and a long-standing feud that escalated to legal battles.

10. What is Joe Exotic’s net worth?

As of now, Joe Exotic’s net worth is not definitively known. However, prior to his legal issues, he was reported to have a net worth of around $10 million due to his success as a zookeeper and reality TV star.

11. What is the lasting impact of “Tiger King” and Joe Exotic’s story?

The lasting impact of “Tiger King” and Joe Exotic’s story is the exposure of the dangers and controversies surrounding the exotic animal industry. It has sparked conversations about animal welfare and the need for stronger regulations in this industry.

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