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Tiger King

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32 minutes ago, Zella said:

 

He also accused Jeff of doing none of the work and not actually being 50-50 partners. I loathed Tim, but I suspect everything he accused Jeff of was accurate. 

I'm genuinely mind-boggled as to why anyone would go into business with Jeff, knowing his track record of being a con artist. Jeff is one of those types who approaches you with a million dollar idea but needs you to put up all the money because he's waiting on a check to clear. 

11 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

His brilliant idea to use the BCR name AND the logo AND the artwork was moronic. 

Yeah, Joe was pretty much begging for a lawsuit with that stupid stunt. 

 

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5 minutes ago, BitterApple said:

I'm genuinely mind-boggled as to why anyone would go into business with Jeff, knowing his track record of being a con artist. Jeff is one of those types who approaches you with a million dollar idea but needs you to put up all the money because he's waiting on a check to clear. 

Yeah, Joe was pretty much begging for a lawsuit with that stupid stunt. 

 

That's so true! When someone posted the Prince thing on here--BTW, in his zoo bio, he still totally touts his former work with Prince--all I could think was, have none of these big cat dummies heard of a background check? 

What's even more baffling to me is that Tim knew Joe. It's not like he was unaware of what ended up happening between Jeff and Joe before he became business partners with Jeff. 

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I think all these big cat assholes are so egotistical, they think no one can pull a fast one, on them.  They think they're a lot smarter than they are.  A LOT smarter.

Tim and his constant monkey companion freaked me out.  He went everywhere, with that thing.  I think he even let it eat some of his food, at one point.  Maybe it's because I think monkeys are freaky, and not adorable, but I thought it was gross.  Your monkey doesn't need to be with you with every dump you take, Tim.  It's not a toy.

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27 minutes ago, Billina said:

Tim and his constant monkey companion freaked me out.  He went everywhere, with that thing.  I think he even let it eat some of his food, at one point.  Maybe it's because I think monkeys are freaky, and not adorable, but I thought it was gross.  Your monkey doesn't need to be with you with every dump you take, Tim.  It's not a toy.

My friend texted me and told me that every time she saw a scene of Tim and his monkey, all she could think was, "That's the start of the next pandemic."

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On 3/28/2020 at 12:20 AM, Slovenly Muse said:

I hope so! I have to say, the treatment of Carole was one of the things that really bothered me about this series. The show seemed to want to draw a comparison between what she is doing and what Joe and Doc (and others) are doing (I guess in the interests of appearing balanced?), but it completely fails to explain the details that would clarify how Big Cat Rescue REALLY compares to Joe's operation. From what we were told, it seems like she really is running a legitimate sanctuary that provides a home for big cats that come from places like Joe's zoo, and protects them from abuse. Those tigers bred and born in captivity CAN'T be released into the wild, so where else are they supposed to go? Yes, tour groups can see the cats, but not nearly as intrusively, and we know how much it costs to feed and care for animals like that. Many animal rescue and rehabilitation centres charge admission and let visitors see the animals (from a non-intrusive distance) for just this reason.

In terms of treatment of the animals, Joe's zoo breeds and sells cubs. It has cub-petting and has humans interacting with the animals. Carole is leading a political campaign to nationally BAN cub-petting, breeding, and other abusive practices, and her sanctuary does not allow any interactions between humans and cats. From the framing in the series, they are made to look comparable, but the show has really failed to explain the conditions in which the cats were kept in the private zoos versus Carole's sanctuary. We didn't see or hear much about the specific acts of abuse taking place, or about cub-petting and why it's abusive, but surely taking wild animals to shopping malls and government buildings (or in suitcases to visit luxury hotels!!) is OBVIOUSLY more abusive and exploitative than the tours happening at Big Cat Rescue. The fact that the series failed to adequately explain these details, but just framed them side-by-side to make them look comparable was unfortunate.

Then there's the treatment of the employees. Doc Antle is running a sex cult, where he ropes in attractive teenage interns and "marries" them, then uses them as practically slave labour. Carole has a staff of volunteers who she doesn't even really know (and is clearly not extorting work or sex out of them through use of manipulation or drugs). How are these things comparable? Yes, big cats are exciting and wonderful, and people are passionate about them and WANT to work with them, and will make personal sacrifices for the chance to do so! But Joe and Doc are using this fact to exploit vulnerable people for cheap labour (and sex), while Carole has volunteers - people with free time who DO NOT depend upon her at all for income and basic needs, and whose treatment by her is never shown (or even suggested) to be unethical. This is not the same thing in the slightest!

Did she murder her husband? I'm inclined to say no! It seems preposterous to me to say that Carole killing him and feeding him to the tigers is the simplest or most likely explanation. The man was involved in the illegal world of international exotic animal breeding/buying/selling, he flew a plane without a licence, and had Alzheimer's. She was the LEAST dangerous thing about his life. Not saying she definitely didn't do it, but I'd need some MUCH more compelling evidence to believe there is an argument to be made that she did it. Besides, it is very difficult for one person to kill a grown man, then move and dispose of a body, even with tigers conveniently nearby, all on her own, without leaving any evidence. I don't think the practicalities of this were considered at all in the series, which just seems intentionally misleading. It was all gossip, based on speculation and VERY thin circumstantial evidence. Did she take advantage of his disappearance to take charge of his estate, enrich herself, and cut off family members who might be entitled to a share? Sure looks like it! But that's a completely different issue from MURDER. I needed more than salacious gossip to make that idea seem legitimate.

Not to mention, her comment in the article linked above that she was misled about the nature of the documentary (that it would be primarily about animal rights and exposing abuses in the animals-for-entertainment industry) COMPLETELY tracks with what the filmmakers have said they wanted this project to be about, before Netflix pushed them to recentre on the outrageous personalities involved. Why do we not consider her other comments credible?

I finished this series feeling like Carole was a wackadoo, a bit self-serving (or at least not as altruistic as she wanted to appear), something of an egomaniac (nearly everyone we see in the big cat world is), and potentially greedy and opportunistic based on what happened with her late husband's estate, but at least it seemed clear that she was a genuine advocate for animal rights and was actively working to ban and criminalize operations like Joe's. I've found it quite shocking, actually, to come online and see that so many people's takeaway from the series is "Carole is the worst person on this show," or "Carole definitely killed her husband," or "Carole is as bad as Joe if not worse." I find all the vitriol surprising and perplexing! And it's definitely a failure of the filmmakers if the audience spends nearly seven hours watching a man hurl misogynistic vitriol at a woman, abusing and SHOOTING a blow-up sex doll stand-in of her, and comes away thinking, "SHE'S the real villain of the story!" especially without any concrete evidence that she is acting wrongly.

If I were her, I would sue Netflix for failing to include clarifying details about her life and work, as much as for framing what they DID include in such a way. I'm really appalled by the viewer reactions to her portrayal, and I really feel for her, and especially for the cats in her care and the legislative work she is doing to protect animals, because they will surely be impacted by the hit her reputation has taken. As much as I enjoyed the series, seeing these comments online has really ended my experience of Tiger King on a sour note.

The thing that makes me thing Carole is not just a wackdoo and may be as bad as the rest of them albeit differently is the rabbit picture. There is no justifiable reason for a picture to be taken of three grown women holding rabbits that have just been killed, with grins on their faces. I hear Carole’s explanation that they were happy that their cats had food. But no true animal lover would be happy about the death of those rabbits, much less smile about it and take a picture of it. That was the most disturbing thing about Carole’s place to me. Yes I understand that big cats have to eat meat, but there should be no joy taken in the slaughter on another animal for it. 

Edited by Smacky55
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20 hours ago, Zella said:

My favorite part about Joe's legal battles was when he was explaining he owned nothing because "he's not dumb." I about died laughing when he said that because, Joe, I hate to break it to you, but you are dumb as hell. He really was the dumbest of all the zoo owners, though I'm not sure Tim was far behind. 

He reminds me of people I know who are quite convinced of their own cleverness, and they just cannot see that their harebrained schemes are the very opposite of clever. 

Yeah, like there’s not a paper trail on vehicles, bank accounts, deeds, titles, secured debts, etc. Also, stuff he didn’t own, he had no control over....so he was ill informed. I think he didn’t think that there are people whose job is to find assets and execute on them. He must have thought, they’d get tired and give up. Lol

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10 minutes ago, Billina said:

Here is a post on Reddit, written by someone who volunteered at Big Cat Rescue.  They address the rabbit thing, if you scroll down, a little:

I volunteered at Carole's Sanctuary. This is what it was like : TigerKing

That was very informative--thank you!

Not gonna lie, though, i cracked up on "You know, that’s actually the first thing they tell you when you become an intern. 'Yeah, Carole killed her husband but keep it on the DL.'"

Incidentally, there is a big cat sanctuary near where I live. I don't know those people, but someone in a local FB group asked them about their opinions on Tiger King. They . . . didn't have nice things to say about Joe or his ilk, but they did say they'd met Carole and done some limited work with her, and that she was professional enough within that context.  

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One more article from last year about Joe and all the major players featured in the documentary (Carole, Jeff, Chucky on a jet ski, Allen Glover, Joe's various husbands) in Texas Monthly 

Some tidbits (I mostly quoted info that wasn't shown in the documentary) and a bit of a timeline:

  • When he was 5 years old, he says he was repeatedly raped by an older boy. This happened in his own home. He vividly recalls how a drawer in the bathroom could be opened to prop the door shut. (this and the Brian Rhyne info below are from the New York magazine article posted a few pages back, but I wanted to include these two things not from the Texas Monthly article since neither were mentioned in the documentary)
     
  • In 1986, Joe met Brian Rhyne at the Round-Up Saloon, a gay cowboy bar in Texas where Joe was working as a security guard. Joe and 19-year-old Brian moved into a trailer together in Arlington, where they shared their bed with a pack of poodles and grew to resemble each other, with mullets and horseshoe mustaches and dressed in jeans and boots. On Saturdays, they would snort pink-tinged meth and go out to the bars. Joe and Brian eventually got married at the Round-Up.
     
  • In 1999, when the park was still under construction, Joe agreed to transport a flock of emaciated emus that had been rescued from a large pen in Red Oak, just south of Dallas. Some of the emus escaped while he was loading them up and headed for the freeway. Joe shot at least six of them, and they flailed around like chickens that had just been beheaded before they died. Local law enforcement and the SPCA blasted Joe for his recklessness, but a grand jury declined to indict him on animal cruelty charges.
     
  • In December 2001, Joe’s first husband Brian Rhyne passed away due to complications from HIV.. His funeral was held at the zoo. Within a year, Joe had a new lover and life partner, a 24-year-old named J. C. Hartpence.
     
  • In the summer of 2003, he hired a nineteen-year-old named John Finlay. He moved in with Joe, and within a month they were in a relationship. By this point, Joe’s relationship with Hartpence was already breaking apart. Hartpence was addicted to drugs and alcohol and had become disillusioned with Joe’s intentions for the zoo. Hartpence wanted to see it become a rehab-and-release sanctuary, with large enclosures where the animals had room to roam. Joe, on the other hand, was increasingly buying new animals from breeders and breeding animals of his own for profit.
     
  • In mid-2003, Hartpence walked into the office and found a piece of paper on his desk. It was a printed color photograph of the zoo’s largest tiger, Goliath, menacingly baring his teeth over a big slab of meat. “J. C.’s remains” was typed in white letters over the picture. Attached was a Post-it note that read: “If you don’t get your shit together, this is gonna be your reality.” Hartpence recognized the handwriting as Joe’s. One night, Hartpence waited until Joe fell asleep, then pointed a loaded .45 and a .357 Magnum at his partner’s head. Joe woke up to the click of the guns cocking. “I want out,” Hartpence told him. “Are we clear?” Joe talked Hartpence into putting down his guns, then he called the police. Hartpence was arrested at the zoo and never returned.
     
  • In 2006 the U. S. Department of Agriculture suspended Joe’s license for two weeks and fined him $25,000 for a long list of violations, including failing to provide adequate veterinary care and failing to remove feces from animal enclosures. Later that year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals published a video showing what they alleged was mistreatment of the animals at Joe’s zoo and the animals that he used in the road show. PETA’s footage showed employees discussing irregular feeding schedules, swatting animals, and, in one case, striking a tiger with the butt of a rifle. The organization criticized the zoo for allegedly “churning out litters of tigers, lions, bears, and other exotic animals,” claiming that “some are deformed, likely because of inbreeding or inadequate nutrition for the mother during pregnancy.” Local and federal investigators arrived at the zoo to investigate the allegations, but ultimately no charges were filed.
     
  • By then the little 16-acre zoo had ballooned to hold more than one thousand animals (for comparison, the Dallas Zoo sits on 106 acres). There were more than a hundred tigers, plus lions, chimpanzees, leopards, baboons, alligators, and smaller reptiles.
     
  • In 2001 the zoo reported total revenue of $117,022. By 2006 that number had grown to $539,320, the vast majority from donations. Alongside the growth of his nonprofit zoo, Joe expanded his for-profit ventures. In the zoo’s gift shop, he sold Joe Exotic–branded skin care products, alcohol, and condoms. Later, he opened a bar two miles down the road from the zoo called Safari Bar and then a pizza joint named Zooters.
  • Travis Maldonado arrived at Joe’s zoo in December 2013. He had struggled with meth addiction back home in California, and one of Joe’s employees suggested he take Maldonado in, thinking that working around animals would help him recover. Joe took a liking to Maldonado right away, and less than a month later, he, Maldonado, and Finlay were wedded in a three-way ceremony in a dance hall across the street from the zoo.

  • On August 18, 2014, Finlay attacked Joe in the back parking lot. He was arrested and charged with assault and battery.

  • Joe first met Lowe around June 2015, when Lowe stopped by the zoo to buy a baby tiliger cub. Joe had marveled as Lowe pulled up in a Hummer towing a trailer that had once been owned by Evel Knievel; Lowe had once managed Evel’s son Robbie. He paid $7,500 cash for the tiliger and told Joe that he planned to open a sanctuary in Colorado. Lowe invited Joe and Maldonado to his house there in September of that year. (The law had changed and they’d legally wed; the trip was their honeymoon.) They went skydiving and hung around the pool. Joe was having health problems, and he had become increasingly worried about what would happen to the zoo if he died or could no longer manage it. According to Joe, Lowe offered to put the zoo in his name, to ensure it never went to Baskin.

  • Lowe had his own shady history, though. In 2007 he was sued by the musician Prince for allegedly selling clothes with Prince’s trademarked symbol on them. The next year, Lowe pleaded guilty to federal mail-fraud charges after he posed as an employee of a charity for domestic abuse victims to obtain $1 million worth of merchandise that he later resold.

  • In February 2017, a new employee at the zoo, Ashley Webster, walked up to say hello to Joe and Lowe and overheard them talking about Baskin. Joe turned to Webster and asked if she’d travel to Florida and put a bullet in Baskin’s head for a few thousand dollars. Webster became uncomfortable, and she laughed it off to get out of the conversation. But she believed Joe was serious. About two weeks later, Webster quit her job and left a voicemail for Baskin, warning her of Joe’s latest threats. Baskin turned the voice mail over to her attorney, and it made its way to Special Agent Matthew Bryant with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which had been investigating Joe and the zoo for potential wildlife crimes.

  • One evening in October 2017, Joe was expecting a shipment of animals from a circus manager who had been paying Joe to board his cats in the off-season. According to Erik Cowie, a longtime zoo employee, Joe needed to make cage space for the incoming animals. There were some new employees on hand, and Joe told Cowie to lead them away from the tiger cages. Joe then selected five aging tigers and killed them one by one, firing a shotgun into their skulls. Cowie had been in charge of caring for the tigers—Samson, Delilah, Lauren, Trinity, and Cuddles—and he thought they were perfectly healthy.

  • One of the zoo’s new employees at the time was a maintenance man named Allen Glover who had worked for Lowe before. A sixth grade dropout with a long list of felony convictions, he had a teardrop tattoo under his eye that he got while serving time in Louisiana.

  • At Joe's trial, prosecutors showed photos of tiger carcasses that federal agents dug up in the back of the zoo. One Fish and Wildlife Service agent testified that they were stuffed in their graves like “hot dogs in a pack.” Joe admitted to shooting the five tigers. He said it was because they were old and in poor health. Euthanasia by gunshot, he noted, is legal. “In twenty years I’ve had fifty plus tigers buried in that back pasture, and nobody gives a damn. Nobody.”

  • The prosecutors called a string of Joe’s former compatriots from the exotic animal industry, who testified that they had bought and sold exotic animals in transactions with Joe, often by fudging USDA paperwork.

  • When confronted with his own recorded statements—the many threats against Baskin, his discussions about the Glover murder plot, and his discussions with the undercover hit man—he said he knew that Lowe and Garretson had been up to something and that he was playing along only to gather evidence. He accused Lowe of everything from drug use to sex trafficking. Lowe’s name was mentioned repeatedly during the trial, but he was never called to testify. Lowe declined to comment for this story, claiming he had sold his exclusive life rights to Netflix. (He hadn’t.)

  • Joe, even from jail, had remained involved in the exotic animal business. In a recording that was played during the trial, he appeared to be brokering the sale of some lion cubs through Dillon.

  • J. C. Hartpence, Joe’s second partner, spoke to me after the trial by phone from the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility, in Kansas. After he left the zoo, his life continued on a downward spiral. He was convicted in 2006 of molesting a child younger than fourteen, and he murdered a man in Kansas in 2014. He could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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I’m so upset right now.... excuse my language as I’m not usually a swearer... but I was thinking fuck the lot of them, fuck Netflix for focusing on the ‘characters’ over the animals, and fuck me for getting sucked in and adding to the popularity of this series at the expense of the animals. Now I’ve settled down a bit I’m doubting I could have managed to watch it all if the animal welfare (or lack of) and exploitation had been the primary focus. As it is, I watched it all and now I’m more aware. And more angry. And motivated to do what I can to help animal conservation... in the wild conservation.

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The Switched on Pop podcast just did an episode with Robert Moor (who did the original Tiger King podcast) about  Joe Exotic's songs. The host Charlie Harding originally heard about Joe Exotic five years ago when Robert Moor was sitting next to him at a shabbat dinner. Robert had been investigating the Joe Exotic story and suspected that Joe wasn't actually the singer of the Joe Exotic songs but he had no way to prove it. He asked Charlie if he could analyze the songs and compare them to the band who he suspected was performing the songs.

They talk about Joe, the show, etc. and they nerd out a little about music (the genesis of I Saw a Tiger, Joe insisting that he really sang those songs on top of backing tracks, Vince Johnson & Danny Clinton both claiming that they sang these songs, the narrative of country music, Here Kitty Kitty, the composition of some of Joe's songs/comparing it to other specific country songs, etc).

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15 hours ago, Smacky55 said:

The thing that makes me thing Carole is not just a wackdoo and may be as bad as the rest of them albeit differently is the rabbit picture. There is no justifiable reason for a picture to be taken of three grown women holding rabbits that have just been killed, with grins on their faces. I hear Carole’s explanation that they were happy that their cats had food. But no true animal lover would be happy about the death of those rabbits, much less smile about it and take a picture of it. That was the most disturbing thing about Carole’s place to me. Yes I understand that big cats have to eat meat, but there should be no joy taken in the slaughter on another animal for it. 

 

7 hours ago, Billina said:

Here is a post on Reddit, written by someone who volunteered at Big Cat Rescue.  They address the rabbit thing, if you scroll down, a little:

I volunteered at Carole's Sanctuary. This is what it was like : TigerKing

This was addressed in the AMA (for the record, a former coworker owned a snake which he fed mice to and he had no fuzzy feelings for the mice at all - to him, the mice were just snake food):

Quote

"What was the deal with the rabbits?"

Honestly, with full context, this is kinda funny, if a little grim. The food the cats get varies day by day to keep it interesting for them. Chicken, beef, etc. On some days, they get whole prey. Rats and chicks for the smaller cats, rabbits of various sizes for the larger cats. It’s important to note that all of these rabbits rats and chicks arrive dead. They come in a freezer truck, and sometimes have some blood frozen to their fur. It’s a bit sad, but it’s a sanctuary for carnivorous animals. That’s just the reality. The dead prey animals are stored in freezers until the day before they’re going to be fed to the cats. At that point, they’re taken out of the freezer and left in a walk-in cooler overnight so they can thaw. Unfortunately, they don’t always thaw completely by the next morning, and they sometimes need to be beaten on the ground a bit to loosen them up so the cats can actually eat them. Or sometimes, when taking them out of the freezer, two rabbits or rats get stuck together, and you need to break the ice to get them apart. Lemme tell you, smacking a dead rabbit on the ground at 8:00 in the morning is a weird experience. So yeah, it’s grim, but the cats need to be fed. And again, these animals all arrive to the place dead. There’s no live prey kept in the sanctuary (with one exception which I’ll get to later). Still, I don’t know who the fuck thought it was a good idea to post the photo of some volunteers holding dead rabbits without that full context. I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking that was pretty fucked up.

[...]

There were some special cases at BCR where animals were able to be released to the wild. Occasionally, bobcats would be found injured (often hit by cars) and taken to the sanctuary. They were kept in special cages that were as secluded as possible, and far away from any tour group. The goal was for them to interact with people as little as possible, ideally not even seeing them. To retain their hunting skills, they would be fed live rats that were released into their enclosures through a tube system. These rats were the only live prey that was kept at BCR and they were only ever fed to the recovery cats.

 

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I've been listening to the Joe Exotic podcast, on Spotify.  Apparently, there is a cute story about Joe starving a couple of tigers he didn't have room for, in the hopes that they would get down to a size where he could feed them to the reptiles.  I forget who told this story (I was working, at the time, and couldn't give it my full attention), but I think it was a different reporter who had worked with Joe.

I'm glad I watched this documentary, not because the personalities are entertaining, but because I knew absolutely nothing about these big cat hoarders, and their private zoos.  Now, I'm informed, and I can do whatever little thing I can to help legitimate rescues/sanctuaries.  So, thank you, Joe, Jeff, Doc, Tim, etc., for exposing your sleaze, for the world to see.  I had no idea. And thank you, Carole, for being the only one in this mess who truly cares about animals (that is my opinion, and I'm sticking to it).😉

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On 4/5/2020 at 11:03 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

THR interview with Tiger King directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin

They discuss a lot of different aspects. Some highlights:

So Carole is very clearly an animal rights and animal welfare activist. She does very little in the way of conservation. More recently she donated a little bit of money to some conservation groups around the world, but in comparison to what she brings in, she’s really taking rescued cats and make them live out their lives on her property. And I’ve always posed one question to Carole, a controversial question, which is, if you really want to stop the ownership of big cats in America, why don’t you do what the humane society does? Why don’t you mainly euthanize these animals? Or I should say this: Is it better to keep a tiger in captivity for 20 years pacing and suffering in a cage when you know that a tiger needs hundreds of miles of habitat to roam, or is it more humane to put that animal out of its misery? I don’t know the answer, but I always posed that question to Carole and asked her if maybe it’s better to put your money into conservation programs around the world that actually protect these animals in the wild.

This is interesting.

One thing that really made me dislike Carole was when I read an interview with the filmmakers, where they said that it was clear that Carole has no interest in tigers in the wild. 

But having read the above, it sounds like they meant, "Carole isn't on board with euthanizing her tigers and giving her money to wild tiger preservation instead."

And I can't say I really blame her for that!

That said, I still think she's a crappy person for various other reasons. But I'm not holding the "doesn't care about wild tigers" allegation against her anymore.

And I think it's totally normal that she doesn't pay the volunteers. That's very typical, particularly for a zoo or sanctuary housing animals that people are very eager to work with. (If it was for rodents or something, it might be a different story.)

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10 minutes ago, Blakeston said:

(If it was for rodents or something, it might be a different story.)

The idea of a rodent sanctuary is making me laugh harder than it should. And brings to mind Hans Landa's question from Inglourious Basterds about why people don't like rats but like squirrels when they're both rodents.  

Edited by Zella
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16 minutes ago, Blakeston said:

One thing that really made me dislike Carole was when I read an interview with the filmmakers, where they said that it was clear that Carole has no interest in tigers in the wild. 

On a related note, one of Eric Goode’s criticisms of Carole is that she’s never gone to see tigers in the wild. As noted before, he is really into turtle conservatism so he has traveled to places all over the world seeking out turtles. But there is a big difference between going somewhere to see turtles (which are too slow to kill you) in their natural habitat versus flying halfway around the world and creeping around the jungle in hopes of spotting a tiger (and not being attacked). I don’t really think the two are comparable and I don’t think it’s necessary for someone who runs a sanctuary to observe animals in the wild. Yes, it can give you a better idea of their natural habitat but so can a book or the internet or a discussion with animal experts. 

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On 3/29/2020 at 10:30 PM, Growsonwalls said:

Oddly the only person in the film who runs a zoo but doesn't seem totally awful is that Mario drug dealer guy. He seemed more like an eccentric but his zoo enclosures looked big and clean. 

Only in this saga would the guy who is supposedly the inspiration for Tony Montana/Scarface get such a short amount of screen time AND come across as halfway decent! 😂

I would absolutely watch a whole documentary on him too.

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All of these people are horrible people I would never want to spend any time around. But I don't agree that Carole is as bad as the rest. As long as she's not breeding animals she's not propagating the problem which makes her a thousand times better. That being said, I still don't like her.

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5 hours ago, sab85 said:

All of these people are horrible people I would never want to spend any time around. But I don't agree that Carole is as bad as the rest. As long as she's not breeding animals she's not propagating the problem which makes her a thousand times better. That being said, I still don't like her.

Oh, I don't like her, either.  Ignoring the stuff about the dead husband, her personality just seems odd and detached, to me.  But, I agree that she is not as bad as the others, and she has educated people about big cat abuse, so she's done some good.  I can't think of any good the others have done.

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Has anyone read the article out today by Joe’s niece? Omg....I’ll try to post the link tomorrow. It’s about the REALLY disturbing stuff she claims he did involving the animals. I mean DISGUSTING....apparently too raunchy for the documentary:(

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2014 This Land interview with Joe

Of note:

  • Schreibvogel’s mom, Shirley, helps out around the park. His father, Francis, would, but he was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Schreibvogel has two sisters and a brother he hasn’t spoken to in 17 years, not since G.W. died. Schreibvogel said they thought the money from the insurance settlement, around $140,000, should have been divided among the four of them, not spent on the zoo. “It was just plain greed,” he told me.
     
  • He’s had four heart attacks.
     
  • Recently, he told me, he signed a deal with a major cable station to film a reality show at the park, and he hired a New York PR firm to work with Paris Hilton on a personal line of cologne.
     
  • According to the Humane Society of the United States, he’s a lynchpin in the country’s exotic animal trade. According to veterinary reports, between February 19, 2011, and September 5, 2013, he transferred at least 51 tigers, seven lions, two leopards, five bears, and two monkeys to facilities outside of Oklahoma. In 2013 alone, he transported nearly 21 tigers cubs. And at least two of his lions went to a facility in Illinois known for slaughtering them.
     
  • Oklahoma is one of the 13 states where individuals are permitted to own exotic animals. The only stipulation is that they must acquire a commercial wildlife breeder’s license, whether they intend to breed the animals or not. The license costs $48 and is issued “to any person whom the director believes to be acting in good faith.”
     
  • People who intend to exhibit their animals to the public must be licensed by the USDA and are governed only by that agency, which sends inspectors out to look routinely for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The USDA has no jurisdiction over exotic animal owners — or private sanctuaries — that don’t exhibit their animals.
     
  • Some animal welfare advocates argue that the difference between sanctuaries and zoos is that sanctuaries don’t exploit their animals by exhibiting them to the public like zoos do. Schreibvogel disagrees: “In my opinion, if you’re not licensed by the USDA and you’re not open to the public, you are an animal hoarder that found out that filing 501(c)3, you can get the public to fund your hobby. That’s what 90 percent of them are.”
     
  • In February of 2014, the Humane Society of the United States, The Fund for Animals, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free USA, and Big Cat Rescue filed a petition with the USDA, urging the agency to permanently revoke Schreibvogel’s exhibitor license.
     
  • Much of the evidence used against Schreibvogel came from an undercover investigation of the facility and from his own website and YouTube channel — there was a video of Schreibvogel stitching a large, deep wound on a lioness, saying he’d already stitched the same wound several times; one of a dachshund licking a lion’s teeth; and one of a tiger named Gabriel, who’d allegedly been bitten by a rattlesnake, dragged into his den, and forced to drink from a hose. Gabriel vomited at least once and was found dead the next morning. The organizations also pointed to a mauling that occurred in October 2013 — an employee put her arm in a tiger cage and lost part of it — as evidence of Schreibvogel’s failure to properly train employees. 
     
  • in 2006, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent someone in to work undercover from February to June. PETA’s report is more detailed than HSUS’, but the sentiment is similar. Some of the allegations include:
Quote

• Two healthy adult tigers were killed, and their teeth were cut out to be given away as gifts before their carcasses were dumped into a reeking, festering garbage pit.

• Two badly injured horses in excruciating pain, including a former racehorse with a broken leg, were dumped at GW, and staff let them suffer for days until they could be butchered.

• Tigers attacked a lion and chewed off her leg. When she pulled out the stitches, her open wound went untreated. Although she moaned for weeks, she was given nothing for pain.

• Employees were instructed to falsify USDA-required paperwork regarding feeding schedules and environmental enrichment for primates to cover up the fact that animals went hungry for days at a time and that the psychological well-being of primates was not being met.

  •  
  • Two former employees also filed complaints with the USDA. One, Ryan Olszta, who worked as the educational director at the G.W. Zoo from December of 2012 to January of 2013, told the USDA in his complaint — and me, by phone — that he saw juvenile tigers kicked in the face and thrown into the air; adult tigers choked, kicked, and hit with a rod; and staff threatened and abused. Olszta also told me he saw Schreibvogel and Finlay smoking meth and found the drug and paraphernalia in their room.
     
  • What the Humane Society claims is most troubling is that Schreibvogel is supplying tiger cubs to other “substandard parks” and zoos around the country, perpetuating more animal abuse and the need for true rescue sanctuaries to house an ever-growing population of aging large cats.
     
  • Schreibvogel does admit to breeding his tigers, but said he only produces about seven cubs a year — a notion Frostic was quick to refute, pointing to an incident in 2010 when 23 tiger cubs died over a period of seven months, Schreibvogel said, because of bad kitten formula. Schreibvogel frequently posts photos to his Facebook page of new litters of big cat and bear cubs and wolf pups, and, according to counts by former park employees, the number of tiger cubs and other animal babies born at the zoo far exceeds seven a year.
     
  • he changed the name of his traveling show to Big Cat Rescue Entertainment. He said it was to streamline his marketing materials, but the Baskins argued he was trying to create confusion between the two organizations, and they sued him for copyright infringement. They also sued him for violation of intellectual property rights, accusing him of “using, altering, and/or mischaracterizing” photos and videos that belonged to Big Cat Rescue.
     
  • Prior to filing bankruptcy, Schreibvogel transferred the deed to the land to his mother and shuttered the G.W. Exotic Animal Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit operating the G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park. The park then resumed operation under a new name — the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park — incorporated under three of his employees. The Baskins allege that the assets of the old zoo were improperly transferred to the new zoo. “The staff members wanted to incorporate a new zoo to save the animals,” Schreibvogel told me. Those employees — John Reinke, Tracy Schultz, and John Finlay (one of Joe’s husbands) — are still operating under Schreibvogel’s USDA license, but he said he’s working to get them one of their own.
     
  • In March, a female chimpanzee named Bongo was found dead on the floor of her cage. Schreibvogel said she likely had a heart attack and that he tried to give her CPR, but PETA sent out a press release and called for the USDA to investigate. “Joe Schreibvogel’s facility is a deathtrap for animals,” PETA spokesperson Delcianna Winders said. A couple of days later, two birds were found dead in their cages. PETA’s press release said photos of the birds, which Schreibvogel posted to his Facebook page, showed evidence of starvation and neglect. Schreibvogel blamed PETA, accusing an employee of working undercover for the organization and starving the birds intentionally, just to make him look bad.
     
  • in mid-May, the agency issued the zoo a citation for failure to provide adequate veterinary care to a black bear that was wounded by another black bear. According to the inspection report, a vet sutured the wound, but it dehisced. Schreibvogel tried to close it, but it was found open and bleeding again. The bear languished for 10 days before the park and the vet decided to euthanize it. The USDA didn’t fine the zoo, but a spokesman for PETA, which sent out a press release about the citation, said it could “be used to  support future enforcement action by the USDA against the exhibitor.”
     
  • Schreibvogel issued his own press release, saying PETA has taken “some drastic measures to tarnish the image of local zoos like The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological,” blaming PETA, in effect, for the bear’s death. The release goes on: “PETA’s attitude to animal treatment has resulted in unfortunate incidents such as the latest incident where the zoo was compelled to euthanize a bear. Joe Exotic was personally involved in the treatment of the bear that was injured in a turf war. Joe had his treatment strategy all figured out but it was abruptly interrupted and stopped by PETA authorities, leading to the death of the animal.”
     
  • Another former employee, who worked at the park as recently as this year, has filed a new complaint with the USDA, alleging, among other things, that Schreibvogel used a shovel to kill a domestic cat, that he and his husbands ran over emus with ATVs, that birds and reptiles were inadequately fed, and that several wolf pups died without anyone investigating why.
Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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On 4/4/2020 at 1:32 PM, Blissfool said:

Right?! I just binged the show and because of things I've seen and read, I expected to see Joe as a sympathetic character. As I watched, I kept telling myself, "Maybe in the next episode...". It never happened.

I mean, jesus, he talked about his husband's balls in graphic detail at his fucking memorial while his mother. He couldn't even do a funeral without making it all about himself and putting on a performance.

From a psychological standpoint, I think it's interesting Joe was molested, and he doesn't seem capable of starting a relationship with someone who is over the age of 25, with the bulk of them being around 19 when they first started dating. Like I can see liking them young, whatever, do you, but the fact that he won't date anyone outside of the college age range is pretty weird to me. It's like Joe needs to have the upper hand of being the older guy in the relationship.

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2 hours ago, methodwriter85 said:

From a psychological standpoint, I think it's interesting Joe was molested, and he doesn't seem capable of starting a relationship with someone who is over the age of 25, with the bulk of them being around 19 when they first started dating. Like I can see liking them young, whatever, do you, but the fact that he won't date anyone outside of the college age range is pretty weird to me. It's like Joe needs to have the upper hand of being the older guy in the relationship.

I'm willing to give Joe a pass on his first husband because when they met, Joe was 23 and Brian was 19.

In comparison, Joe was 39 when he met 24 year old JC. He was 40 when he met 19 year old John. He was 50 when he met 19 year old Travis. He was 52 when he met 19 year old Dillon. Joe is like Wooderson in Dazed and Confused: "That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age."

Dillon did an interview with Andy Cohen. I only listened to the very beginning because Andy Cohen is terrible at interviewing people. Andy asks Dillon how old he is and Dillon claims he's 24 but every other source I've seen says that he's 22. Anyway,in this interview, he confirms that there is another Tiger King episode coming to Netflix and that it's a reunion but that Netflix did not contact him to participate. Carole said that she hasn't been contacted either but that she wouldn't participate if they asked her to.

Variety interview with Dillon (I'm not familiar with the interviewer but he lets Dillon answer his questions without interrupting and he is able to ask questions succinctly so he's leaps and bounds better than Andy Cohen):

 

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6 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I'm willing to give Joe a pass on his first husband because when they met, Joe was 23 and Brian was 19.

In comparison, Joe was 39 when he met 24 year old JC. He was 40 when he met 19 year old John. He was 50 when he met 19 year old Travis. He was 52 when he met 19 year old Dillon. Joe is like Wooderson in Dazed and Confused: "That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age."

Yeah, I have to wonder if it's also because 19/20 is the age when Joe stopped maturing, for whatever reason.  So, he has the upper hand as the older guy, but he also relates more to immature guys, emotionally speaking.  A man his age probably wouldn't put up with his bullshit.

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13 hours ago, Billina said:

Oh, I don't like her, either.  Ignoring the stuff about the dead husband, her personality just seems odd and detached, to me.  But, I agree that she is not as bad as the others, and she has educated people about big cat abuse, so she's done some good.  I can't think of any good the others have done.

Yeah, I'm not a fan of Carole either, but I don't get the vibe abject cruelty and violence is the norm at her sanctuary. I also agree with her that nobody in this country has any business breeding and selling exotic cats, especially those ignorant meth addicts in Oklahoma.

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On 3/29/2020 at 5:23 PM, raeb23 said:

While her current views on tiger breeding and cub exploitation and support of legislation to protect these animals are laudable, she's isn't altruistic. Her advocacy is about herself as much as the cats. I think she enjoys being in the public eye, like Joe. She said at one point that a possible positive outcome of her murder would be bringing attention to animal rights abuses. That says a lot about how her self-worth is tied up in her advocacy. Basically, it seemed that she sees herself as a matyr.

I thought the same thing based on what was shown, so I went to her sanctuary's live cams. The animals were in much larger, more natural looking enclosures than at Joe's zoo. Of course I can't say for certain that all the cats are being housed in optimal conditions based on this, but it was better than what we saw on Tiger King.

I've visited a reputable tiger & animal sanctuary in Arkansas and the facilities at BCR look to be about even (I think Turpentine Creek has a better feeding/bad weather shelter setup, but I don't believe they have shared temporary habitats as big as the 2-acre "vacation" one at BCR), with the same philosophies of feeding, enrichment, and advocating for laws against private ownership and breeding. The extensive tiered, color-coded hierarchy of volunteers at BCR looks creepy to me, but those are people who have the resources to sign up for volunteer work, as opposed to homeless meth addicts living off discarded meat from Wal-Mart or a harem of sex slaves in catsuits who've been groomed since they were teenagers. If they object to anything about how the sanctuary is run, they can quit and blow the whistle. The big cats look to be receiving the best care possible given the fact they can't be released into the wild; in my opinion that's better than just euthanizing them.

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I'm not sure there is any evidence to support Joe's niece's claim that he had video of people sexually abusing his animals, but, it's one of many other allegations.  Here's the link, you can judge for yourself. There are some interesting family photos here of Joe and other family members.  Is that Joe posing with dozens of dead rats that he killed?  

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8191939/Tiger-King-star-Joe-Exotics-niece-claims-froze-dead-tiger-cubs-sell.html

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2 hours ago, Billina said:

Yeah, I have to wonder if it's also because 19/20 is the age when Joe stopped maturing, for whatever reason.  So, he has the upper hand as the older guy, but he also relates more to immature guys, emotionally speaking.  A man his age probably wouldn't put up with his bullshit.

Yeah, they say that drug addicts stop mentally maturing at whatever age it is that they became drug addicts, so I'm guessing for Joe it was 19. Going by the era, I'm guessing it was crack? Meth wasn't really popular until later on. Anyway, the fact that as soon as John hit his 30's Joe found another 19-year old speaks volumes. I'm sure if Travis had lived he would have been eventually "replaced" like John was. His death just sped up the process.

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In the documentary, you hear the young man saying something about how the gun isn't loaded or something like that and then it goes off.  The man in the video who was observing seems panicked and he gets up and leaves.  Is that authentic?  Was that really footage of the death?  Why do you think that young man did that?  Joe's eulogy was in poor taste, imo.  Well, not much Joe did was anything other than poor taste, but, you might expect a little more when your partner is being buried.  The part about his deceased partner putting his testicles in his face.....WHAT?  WHY that at a funeral? 

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Does anyone besides me think that Carole's husband "disappeared himself"?  If he had loads of valuables stashed all over, he may have been able to engineer that disappearance with or without her knowledge.  The guy who said that Don told him he was about to pull off something amazing made me think it might have been a hint.

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Someone on Reddit said the thing about Carole was if she was so interested in "rescuing" cats, why not focus her energy on that in her fights with Joe? Why not offer to take in his cats and have him to stop breeding as a way to settle the lawsuits? The suits were only costing him money, which was taking away from the animals' care. He's a dirtbag, but so is she. She only wanted to win, not see the animals in a better/safer place. Every single one of the "zoo" (or whatever) owners and "businessmen/women" in this thing was a greedy lowlife grifter. Every one.

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7 minutes ago, bilgistic said:

Someone on Reddit said the thing about Carole was if she was so interested in "rescuing" cats, why not focus her energy on that in her fights with Joe? Why not offer to take in his cats and have him to stop breeding as a way to settle the lawsuits? The suits were only costing him money, which was taking away from the animals' care. He's a dirtbag, but so is she. She only wanted to win, not see the animals in a better/safer place. Every single one of the "zoo" (or whatever) owners and "businessmen/women" in this thing was a greedy lowlife grifter. Every one.

I had my issues with Carole, but I don't think for one minute that Joe would ever have given his animals to her. I know Joe's basic type--hardheaded redneck--and there was no way the dude that was blowing his assets up with tannerite to prevent her from getting them was going to give in and give his animals to his arch-nemesis. And I don't believe he would have even given them to another sanctuary she selected because in his eyes that would have meant she won, and he was never going to allow that. It's completely antithetical to his personality. 

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Yeah. Joe is the type to dig in and he would destroy anything before he turned it over to her. Plus, by the time he was having his property seized, he had attempted to no longer own the animals. He had sold it, right? 

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4 minutes ago, SunnyBeBe said:

Yeah. Joe is the type to dig in and he would destroy anything before he turned it over to her. Plus, by the time he was having his property seized, he had attempted to no longer own the animals. He had sold it, right? 

Yeah at the very least he was trying to put everything in other people's names.

In his immortally ironic words:

giphy-3-21.gif

Sadly, I think when it came to the animals, he would have killed them before he gave them to her. 

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4 hours ago, Gloriosa said:

Does anyone besides me think that Carole's husband "disappeared himself"?  If he had loads of valuables stashed all over, he may have been able to engineer that disappearance with or without her knowledge.  The guy who said that Don told him he was about to pull off something amazing made me think it might have been a hint.

I think it's possible. 

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12 hours ago, Gloriosa said:

Does anyone besides me think that Carole's husband "disappeared himself"?  If he had loads of valuables stashed all over, he may have been able to engineer that disappearance with or without her knowledge.  The guy who said that Don told him he was about to pull off something amazing made me think it might have been a hint.

It's a possibility,  but he left too much money for Carole.   If he had drained the accounts to something like 1 or 2 million,  then yes he disappeared on his own accord.  But, he left her close to 10 million in cash and property.   As much as I like to joke that Carole killed Don, i honestly think Don's illegal activities did him in.  I do think Carole knows what went down, and her silence and bogus story has something to do with keeping it secret. 

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I'm done with episode 2. At the end Carol says "[..] that I've fed him to the tigers, which is crazy." and in my head I'm condinuing that sentence with "because tigers don't eat bone. I obviously fed him to the gators."

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10 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

Yeah. Joe is the type to dig in and he would destroy anything before he turned it over to her. Plus, by the time he was having his property seized, he had attempted to no longer own the animals. He had sold it, right? 

 

9 hours ago, Zella said:

Yeah at the very least he was trying to put everything in other people's names.

Sadly, I think when it came to the animals, he would have killed them before he gave them to her. 

Yes, by the time the 2014 article above was published he's already started moving his assets around to keep from having to pay Carole. If he was blowing up batteries just so Carole couldn't seize them as part of his assets, there's no way he was going to give her any of his animals. Per the article:

Prior to filing bankruptcy, Schreibvogel transferred the deed to the land to his mother and shuttered the G.W. Exotic Animal Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit operating the G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park. The park then resumed operation under a new name — the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park — incorporated under three of his employees. The Baskins allege that the assets of the old zoo were improperly transferred to the new zoo. “The staff members wanted to incorporate a new zoo to save the animals,” Schreibvogel told me. Those employees — John Reinke, Tracy Schultz, and John Finlay (one of Joe’s husbands) — are still operating under Schreibvogel’s USDA license, but he said he’s working to get them one of their own.

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I'm really not a fan of the narrative in episode 6 that Joe's husbands were straight guys he plied with drugs. From what I've seen on this "documentary" they did love him. I mean even that scene with Travis getting angry that Joe didn't listen to him. You don't get that angry about somebody not listening to you unless you love them.

They also didn't include any interviews from park employes, who would have known one way or the other.

I don't think the sleeping around is any indication at all. Seems like there was a lot of that going around in that park.

Bi men do exist!

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On 3/28/2020 at 11:32 PM, sainte-chapelle said:

 Not to mention the poor animals were underfed.

They looked pretty well fed. The guy who said it took 10k a year to feed a tiger had some very overweight tigers walking around. Probably easier to handle, since they will be lethargic, but not good for their health.

The true number probably lis somewhere between the 3k with expired wallmart meat and the 10k you need to fatten a tiger up so his gut is almost dragging on the floor.

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I'm not going to watch this as animal cruelty is not my idea of entertainment, but could some kind soul fill me in as to what happened to the cats after the main redneck scumbag went to prison? Are they all dead? Is the park still operating? Were they transferred to somewhere else?

I don't give a shit about any human being in that show, but the fate of the animals bothers me. 

Edited by Rosenrot
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6 hours ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

It's a possibility,  but he left too much money for Carole.   If he had drained the accounts to something like 1 or 2 million,  then yes he disappeared on his own accord.  But, he left her close to 10 million in cash and property.   As much as I like to joke that Carole killed Don, i honestly think Don's illegal activities did him in.  I do think Carole knows what went down, and her silence and bogus story has something to do with keeping it secret. 

Thinking about that, if I knew or had evidence someone I really loved had been done in by Central American drug kingpins or whatever I'd probably risk reprisal to make it known and see justice served. But if it were someone I was happy to be rid of...

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4 hours ago, AheadofStraight said:

Rob Lowe looks like he's having fun. Funny comments from his kids and brother Chad too.

 

Oh, I hope it happens. I knew Ryan Murphy would be all over this. He should cast Mary Cherry as Carole.  

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On 4/8/2020 at 10:31 AM, methodwriter85 said:

I mean, jesus, he talked about his husband's balls in graphic detail at his fucking memorial while his mother. He couldn't even do a funeral without making it all about himself and putting on a performance.

I mean, a lot of people here seem to think that was some sexual thing, but in the next sentence he said, that everybody at the zoo could tell stories of Travis waving his balls into their faces. So it sounds like it was meant as a funny story about what a rapscallion Travis was.

Also there wasn't anything graphic about it.

Joe is an asshole and an animal abuser, but with some of the accusations and how the whole of episode 6 was framed, I'm detecting some strong homophobic undertones...

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1 hour ago, Prower said:

I mean, a lot of people here seem to think that was some sexual thing, but in the next sentence he said, that everybody at the zoo could tell stories of Travis waving his balls into their faces. So it sounds like it was meant as a funny story about what a rapscallion Travis was.

Also there wasn't anything graphic about it.

Joe is an asshole and an animal abuser, but with some of the accusations and how the whole of episode 6 was framed, I'm detecting some strong homophobic undertones...

It would have been just as inappropriate if he had been eulogizing his wife's tits. 

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3 hours ago, Bruinsfan said:

Thinking about that, if I knew or had evidence someone I really loved had been done in by Central American drug kingpins or whatever I'd probably risk reprisal to make it known and see justice served. But if it were someone I was happy to be rid of...

Not just that.... but if we go with the idea that he got killed because of his shady dealings with South American drug kingpins, then depending on how much she knew about said shady dealings then keeping quiet may be in her own best interest, lest she gets quietly disappeared herself.

 

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