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In late March 2020, a true crime documentary miniseries became
incredibly popular on Netflix. 'Tiger King' was about the life of
a zookeeper named Joe Exotic.
Reason #1: It is very violent
If you have young children, elderly adults or anyone who is sensitive to gratuitous violence, you are not going to want them to see this show. Every episode of this Netflix show Tiger King features quite a bit of violence. Some of it against animals and some of it towards the people.
Reason #2: If you are an animal lover, you will find it upsetting Tiger King has lots of magestic big cats and even tiger kittens in it, and if it shocks you to think of them being tortured, then Tiger King is not a series you are going to want to see. It is horrific to see the animals vulnerable to such violent people who should be caring for these amazing animals, something that not every person who wants to do has the chance to do. You have to go
through training and have experience to care for big cats and zoo animals. Instead of honoring this, they spend their time being selfish and hurting each other and the animals.
Reason #3: The alleged murder of Joe Exotic by Carole Baskin has not been proven. No one quite knows what happened, this is all sensational and is a true crime documentary.
The murder of Joe Exotic is horrific and likely one of the biggest reasons the show was created. But it also is a scary thing to see, it is something you can't get out of your head. True crime documentaries can be terrifying because these are things that have happened or are
alleged to have happened. In this case, no one is quite sure of what happened. Tiger King is the story of what allegedly happened.
Reason #4: Joe Exotic is/was not a great person
It is very sad to see how selfish, narcissistic and cruel someone like Joe Exotic is. To have the unique opportunity to help animals in this way and then be this type of person as a human being is truly terrifying. In some ways it is hard to understand why someone would want to care
for any other creature, when it is clear when you see how they act, that they do not care for anyone, not even themselves and that they truly would like to cause other beings damage.
The real tragedy is that no one stepped in to stop him from causing damage. To prevent him from hurting the tigers and the people in his life. That others let him be such a cruel human being to so many.
Reason #5: While it shows the unique world of big cat conservation, it is not an informative view that is helpful
It would be amazing to see a documentary about big cat conservation that helped us understand more about it, so that we could help these animals. Some big cats are in danger of being extinct, such as tigers. Most big cats do need conservation help, this is simply where we are as a planet and a society. Hunters and big game hunting parties hunt them, which is horrific.
So, Tiger King is much less a helpful documentary to watch if you would like to assist big cats in some way.
Here are some ways YOU can help big cats NOW
Support your local zoo, especially if they have big cats. A lot of zoos have big cats in captivity. This is a way people get to know big cats. You can volunteer and make a donation or become a zoo member - best of all, this means you get to see the big cats all the time at the zoo!
Take a look at Panthera.org, they are a not-for-profit organization that helps big cats https://www.panthera.org/
Help The Wildcat Sanctuary, they assist big cats and rehabilitate them.
Join the Wildlife Conservation Society, and specifically support their work with Big Cats https://www.wcs.org/our-work/wildlife/big-cats
It makes me sad people find genuine enjoyment out of this series.
The Tiger King documentary and Netflix should have focused on exposing the unkindness and abuse the tigers kept captive by Joe Exotic and Carole Baskins faced
Carole Baskin wasn’t accused of killing Joe Exotic (at least not in the documentary). He’s alive and in prison. She was accused of killing her second husband in the film. You’re right, though, it’s a really trashy documentary. Very much like a train wreck.
I have heard so much about this show, but haven’t ever really sat down to watch it. It kind of sounded like too much of a cluster for me…I didn’t realize all the violence involved, so I am definitely glad that I didn’t try and watch it.
Joe Exotic is still alive. You may be referring to Carole’s former husband. But I agree, you should not watch with children.
Thank you for sharing your insight about this series. I had not watched it, but when TMZ came out with a special about it, I thought maybe I should. I struggled to get through the first mindless and gruesome episode, thinking that it would be better when I got to the second one. It was not. I will likely not bother to watch anymore due to the reasons you have given here. Thank you.
Yes, the Tigers are the largest and most understated in all of the documentary! They have been severely neglected, abused and exploited.
I didn’t jump on the bandwagon and I’m glad someone wrote about it!