Joe Exotic of the “Tiger King” says his 2024 presidential bid isn’t a joke.
In a new interview, Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, said, “First of all, you know, it’s my constitutional right to do this. It doesn’t matter what people think. This ain’t a joke.”
The former reality star is currently serving a 21-year federal sentence after being convicted on multiple charges, including a murder-for-hire scheme targeting animal rights activist Carole Baskin.
He is running under the Libertarian Party banner.
Joe Exotic, born Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage (formerly Schreibvogel) on March 5, 1963, is an American former zookeeper, convicted felon, and reality television personality. He gained notoriety and fame following the release of the Netflix documentary series "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness" in March 2020. The documentary highlighted the eccentric life and exploits of Joe Exotic, including his passion for exotic animals, his rivalry with animal rights activist Carole Baskin, and his eventual arrest and conviction.
Joe Exotic owned and operated the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (G.W. Zoo) in Oklahoma, where he kept a large collection of exotic animals, including big cats like tigers, lions, and leopards. He was known for his flashy personality, distinctive fashion sense, and love for country music, even producing his own music videos.
His rivalry with Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue in Florida, was a central theme of the documentary series. Baskin was a vocal critic of Joe Exotic's zoo, accusing him of animal abuse and exploitation. The feud between the two became increasingly intense, culminating in a series of lawsuits and even an alleged murder-for-hire plot.
In 2019, Joe Exotic was arrested and charged with multiple federal offenses, including murder-for-hire, animal abuse, and wildlife trafficking. In 2020, he was convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of murder-for-hire, for which he was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison.
The "Tiger King" documentary series sparked widespread fascination with Joe Exotic's life and the world of big cat ownership in the United States. It also prompted discussions around animal rights, the exotic pet trade, and the need for stricter legislation to protect big cats and other exotic animals.
What celebrity do you think could actually win the presidential election? You can't say Donald Trump because that already happened.