Joseph Maldonado-Passage—Joe Exotic, if you’re nasty—is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence in Fort Worth, Texas for various crimes related to his ownership and transport of tigers (including killing five) and for hiring someone to murder his rival, Carole Baskin. According to a new report from ABC News, a federal judge in Joe Exotic’s home state of Oklahoma has awarded control of the so-called Tiger King’s zoo to Baskin, the CEO of Florida-based Big Cat Rescue. Baskin’s acquisition of the zoo in Oklahoma is the latest development in this real-life soap opera; the increasingly bitter feud between Exotic and Baskin was documented in the hit Netflix series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness, which also explored theories regarding Baskin’s alleged involvement in the mysterious 1997 disappearance of her second husband, Don Lewis.
On June 1, U.S. District Judge Scott Palk awarded ownership of Exotic’s zoo to Baskin, giving Big Cat Rescue 120 days to remove all animals from the property. The organization has yet to release a statement regarding the ruling or its plans for the animals. Yesterday, a handwritten letter was posted to Joe Exotic’s Twitter account, in which he asks fans, “Please keep my story alive and please keep asking our dear president to make this right and pardon me.”
As many websites and companies have gone dark today to show support for Black Lives Matter in what’s being called Blackout Tuesday, Exotic posted this extremely classy statement to Twitter: