Where Is The Cast Of Tiger King Season 2 Now?
In March 2020, just as the novel coronavirus was reaching pandemic-levels in the United States, the Netflix documentary “Tiger King” arrived as a welcome distraction. The lurid and tabloid-worthy TV series chronicled the life and times of Oklahoma-based big cat zoo owner Joe Exotic and his ongoing feud with Tampa Bay, Florida-based animal conservationist Carole Baskin, while also chronicling the lives of the people in Joe Exotic’s orbit.
After “Tiger King” took the Internet by storm, it was practically inevitable that Netflix would release a follow-up series. On Wednesday, November 17, “Tiger King 2” arrived. The second season of the hit series starts off by detailing how the release of the first “Tiger King” has affected the lives of everyone involved. After that, it delves into the backstories of the main players, paying particular attention to the disappearance of Carole Baskin’s first husband Don Lewis. The show also follows Joe Exotic as he appeals his January 2020 conviction for both attempted hired murder as well as animal abuse.
Overall, “Tiger King 2” mostly covers the events that happened between the release of the first season in March 2020 and the arrival of the follow-up. Even more developments have happened in the few months since “Tiger King 2” was dropped. Here’s what the main cast of “Tiger King 2” are up to as of November 2021.
Joe Exotic is still in prison
In January 2020, Joe Exotic, born Joseph Allen Schreibvogel, was sentenced to 22 years in prison, after he was found guilty of attempting to hire two hitmen to kill his rival, Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin. He was also found guilty of 17 federal counts of animal abuse. “Tiger King 2” covers the beginning of Joe Exotic’s appeals process. Since he’s confined to prison, he’s only available to participate in the documentary via taped phone calls.
In July 2021, Joe Exotic’s appeal finally made some progress when a federal appeals court ruled that Exotic’s sentence was too harsh. As of November 2021, he’s currently awaiting his re-sentencing at the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. His lawyers have argued that his sentence should be between 17 and a little under 22 years (via Newsweek).
In other Joe Exotic-related news, he’s written a memoir that’s scheduled to be published in late November 2021. Finally, on November 3, 2021, Exotic announced on Twitter that he’s been diagnosed with an “aggressive” form of prostate cancer. “Carole [Baskins] will have a party over this!” he wrote.
Carole Baskin and her husband Howard sued Netflix over Tiger King 2
Carole Baskin wasn’t happy with how she or her company, Big Cat Rescue, were portrayed in the first season of “Tiger King.” She felt that directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin misled her on what the documentary would be about, claiming that they told her it would be an expose of the abuses in the animal conservation industry. That’s why she and her husband, Howard Baskin, declined to participate in the followup. Goode and Chaiklin came up with a workaround to keep the Baskins part of the story anyway by repurposing unused footage of them from the first season of “Tiger King.”
Well, Carole Baskin and her husband Howard weren’t happy about this either, and they took both Netflix and Royal Goode Productions to court. As reported by Variety, the Baskins filed a lawsuit on November 1, 2021, claiming that they’d only signed releases for their footage to be used in the first “Tiger King,” not the second. The Baskins’ lawsuit asked for an injunction to stop Netflix from broadcasting “Tiger King 2.”
Obviously that didn’t happen. Federal Magistrate Judge Thomas Wilson declined to issue the injunction, but as of November 15, the Baskins were still trying to get Netflix to take “Tiger King 2” off its servers (via The Tampa Bay Times).
Jeff Lowe's legal issues are ongoing
Up next is Jeff Lowe, the Las Vegas-based entrepreneur and big cat owner who was Joe Exotic’s ex-business partner. Lowe took over Joe Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in 2016. As “Tiger King 2” explains, in May 2021 Lowe was forced to relinquish all of the sixty-plus big cats in his care after a civil complaint alleged both inhumane treatment and improper handling of animals (via USA Today).
Two days before “Tiger King 2” was released, Lowe told TMZ that all the charges against him were bogus and that he expected them to be dropped by November 16. If that indeed has happened, no news outlets have reported it, so we’ll chalk that up as “unconfirmed.”
In his interview with TMZ, Lowe also said that he’s in the process of getting his big cats back from the federal government. He added that he’s planning on suing Carole Baskins, PETA, and other individuals who he claims were responsible for the May 2021 raid on his park (via Outsider).
Tim Stark is struggling with mental illness and bankruptcy
“Tiger King 2” introduces a new player in the shady animal conservation universe, Tim Stark. In 1999, Stark founded a non-profit called Wildlife in Need in Charlestown, Indiana, where he claimed he rescued and rehabilitated indigenous wildlife. After Joe Exotic went to prison in January 2021, Jeff Lowe attempted to start a new zoo with Stark.
As “Tiger King 2” details, the venture between Lowe and Stark failed, and Stark’s Wildlife in Need non-profit was dissolved in November 2020. Since then, things have only gotten worse. As reported by Distractify, in April 2021 Stark posted a more than two-hour long Facebook Live video in which he declared bankruptcy, said he struggled to “think right mentally any more,” and was seen waving a gun. After that video was published, police briefly took Stark into custody.
Most recently, Stark failed to show up for an October 2021 court appearance related to his ongoing bankruptcy issue. He posted another Facebook Live video on October 22, again declaring bankruptcy. He has a hearing scheduled for December 16, 2021, which will determine how his assets will be sold off (via Distractify).