Tiger King is a Must-Watch During Quarantine


Wikimedia Commons

A big cat pokes its face out to see the outside a cage. Staff Writer Jake Lieberman believes big cats, like this one pictured, shouldn’t be kept captive, and deserve to be roaming free in their natural habitat. Creative Commons Image: Wikipedia Commons.

Jake Lieberman, Staff Writer

One request for everyone during quarantine is to please watch the documentary, “Tiger King.” This is an insanely out-of-the-ordinary show that throws twists and turns throughout it all. 

Murder, mayhem and madness are the keywords to describe the new documentary on Netflix, which debuted at a perfect time, as people are trying to take their minds off of coronavirus concerns. “Tiger King” follows the life of Joseph Allen Schreibvogel, A.K.A. Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage A.K.A. Joe Exotic. He owns over 210 big cats on his private zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. Not only that, but he is accused of directing a murder-for-hire plot. Yes, animal rights activists are involved, and plenty of other wackos are right in the thick of it too. 

With that, here are my five reasons why Tiger King is a must-watch:


#1: Joe Exotic: If you want to watch a man with an alter ego, foolishness, and smarts (I know, it sounds contradictory) Joe is your man. Just to give you a taste, he’s a guy who made his own country music (which is actually pretty good) about killing a woman he despises, while wearing some questionable outfits. He tried to run for president and then ran for Oklahoma governor (and shockingly accumulated just under 19% of the general vote). It’s already time to tune in. 


#2: Perspective: Wow, what goes on in the Bay Area and Wynnewood, Okla. is substantially different. We have the “tech world” right next to us, with enormous companies, while Wynnewood has pumas, lions and tigers trapped inside of a gun-toting, carnival showman’s backyard. Here in the Bay Area people make money from respectable and productive jobs such as teachers, businessmen, and construction, but in Wynnewood, Okla. people like Joe Exotic make a living from exploiting “exotic animals.” By now, Tiger King should be a necessity for you. 


#3: Not Coronavirus: I mean Coronavirus is practically the only thing we hear about right now, but by watching Tiger King, it’s a bit of an escape from reality. This will let your mind grapple with who is the “culprit” and other questions. The documentary is so compelling that hopefully, you won’t need to think about COVID-19 for 45 minutes. Ultimately, the show should give your mind a brief break from the chaos. 


#4: Big Cats and Justice: According to CNN, there are 7,000 tigers captive in the U.S. while there are just 3,900 tigers that are wild in the world. It’s painfully sad to see these precious, free-spirited animals locked up in cages, who are only given temporary “freedom” when they are required to perform for people. One takeaway is that hopefully, people will act and really push to get tigers and other big cats free, so they can live much better lives. 


#5: Conversation Starter: When talking to people, Tiger King will undoubtedly produce an entertaining and fun conversation. There are several topics in the series to debate— From how does Doc Antle have seven wives, to did good ole Carole Baskin “do it,” to are the animals actually treated worse by Jeff Lowe than Joe? This collection of people and the wacky things they do will keep your conversation flowing in the right direction!