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TV

Tiger King: Inside the behind-the-scenes secrets and scandals from the show everyone can't stop talking about

It turns out there's a lot more of this binge-worthy story to tell...

By NW team
Netflix's Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness has already taken the world by storm.
Now NW reveals there's a lot more behind this doco than we initially thought!
BHAGAVAN 'DOC' ANTLE
One of the more outlandish figures in a doco filled with them is Doc Antle of Myrtle Beach Safari.
Not surprisingly, Doc – who's described as a polygamous, cult-like figure – isn't thrilled with the end result.
"It wasn't a documentary, not even close," he tells.
"I don't have multiple wives – that would be illegal."
The self-described tiger behaviourist also disputes the series' epilogue.
"We were never raided. It was an inquiry, not a raid" – and says he wishes viewers had seen more of the conservation work he does.
But a Tiger King production source disputes the claim that the series sensationalised or distorted the facts.
"Producers presented the story in a fair light," the source says.
"All parties involved knew what type of documentary was being created. No subjects were coerced nor deceived in any way."
Joe is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot against his rival, Carole Baskin. Source: Supplied
JOE EXOTIC
His name says it all. For over 20 years, the series' mulleted protagonist, who was born Joseph Schreibvogel, was the eccentric proprietor of GW Animal Park – a so-called sanctuary housing 50 species but alleged to have been an abusive zoo.
While riding high as the tiger king of Oklahoma, he also cut a few albums and ran for both governor and, in 2016, president of the United States.
Joe is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot against his rival, Carole Baskin.
But the brash gamekeeper – who maintains he's innocent – is still making headlines, even from behind bars!
He's filed a $153 million civil rights suit against multiple government agencies and requested a pardon from President Trump.
"I don't think he'll get out," Jeff tells.
CAROLE BASKIN
Depending on who you ask, Big Cat Rescue's Carole – who brings oddball Mother Earth energy to an otherwise testosterone-soaked field – is either a sociopath or a saviour.
To Joe, Jeff and Doc, she's a woman who got away with murder.
Mystery surrounds her missing second husband Don Lewis and the attention of the show has led a Florida sheriff to reopen the case.
"The directors said they wanted to make the big cat version of Blackfish," Carole tells.
"There are no words for how disappointing it is that they devoted an entire segment to 23-year-old lies and innuendos suggesting I was involved in my husband Don's 1997 disappearance."
"There are no words for how disappointing it is that they devoted an entire segment to 23-year-old lies and innuendos suggesting I was involved in my husband Don's 1997 disappearance." Source: Supplied
JEFF LOWE
Jeff Lowe, the current owner of the GW zoo, is the resident bad boy of the Netflix series, but he says that title should go to Joe Exotic.
"They didn't really show Joe – they touched upon it, but that guy is the biggest criminal," Jeff alleges.
"They didn't expose that it wasn't him singing on his albums. Everything about Joe was fake! We tolerated it as much as we could."
Since then, Jeff and his wife Lauren have welcomed their daughter Sarah but have not – as Jeff hinted at in the series – hired a hot nanny.
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet," he jokes.
"Even if it comes from us!"
JOHN FINLAY
One third of a throuple with Joe Exotic and Travis Maldonado, John's most memorable quality was his teeth – or lack thereof.
"He was forced to take his teeth out for the series," co-star Doc Antle alleges.
"He had bridge work done, but the show wanted him portrayed a certain way, so the teeth had to come out."
John upgraded to a new set in June 2019.
"He was forced to take his teeth out for the series," co-star Doc Antle alleges. Source: Supplied
TRAVIS MALDONADO
The most tragic figure of the series – if you don't count the animals – is Travis, who met Joe at 19 years old and died on his property just four years later of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound.
(It's been reported that Maldonado believed that because there was no magazine in the gun, it wouldn't fire.)
Troubled by a history of drug abuse, Travis – who identified as straight until he met Joe, as did John – is depicted as a casualty of an increasingly chaotic, oppressive and ultimately treacherous environment.
Less than 3900 tigers remain in the wild. The International Tiger Project, a not-for-profit project dedicated to tiger conservation, rainforest protection and local community partnerships, is helping to protect and rebuild an the ecosystem in wild tiger habitats. You can help make a difference and save the tigers and the forests they live in. Click here to find out how you can get involved in this amazing conservation effort today.

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