Election 2020

Joe Exotic’s Lawyer Believes Donald Trump Will Pardon the Tiger King Star: ‘It is Going to Happen’

While President Donald Trump has pardoned Roger Stone and disgraced former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the legal team for another notable felon — “Tiger King” Joe Exotic — is hopeful Trump will do the same for their controversial client, Mediaite reports.

Eric Love, who serves as the head of Exotic’s legal team, noted in a video for TMZ that he’s received a spate of phone calls from Washington in regards to a potential pardon. That’s left the team feeling “so confident,” Love said.

“We feel that it is going to happen,” he said. “We hope very, very soon.”

“The pardon’s gonna happen.”

Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence at a federal prison in Texas. He was convicted on animal abuse charges and a murder-for-hire plot to kill Carole Baskin, who as the CEO of Florida-based Big Cat Rescue, is Exotic’s rival. In September he formally appealed for a pardon.

“Allow me to make you proud, to make America proud, to make the world proud,” wrote Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, in a direct appeal to Trump. “Be my hero please.”

Like Exotic himself, that message is a bit over-the-top, and while “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness,” is still streaming on Netflix, it earned the distinction of being watched by more than 34 million people in a 10-day period when it debuted in late March.

It’s easy to picture Trump pardoning Exotic because the docu-series is full of the same excesses we see that are frequently associated with Trump and his family: Greed, jealousy, and misogyny (Exotic’s hatred of Baskin takes on epic proportions). And in a weird way, these past four years have seemed like one really long and obnoxious episode of Tiger King, featuring Trump and his bloated, screaming, orange face.

But this is the worst of Joe Exotic’s sins: The exploitation and outright killing of rare and endangered big cats for monetary gain at his Oklahoma zoo. The Washington Post reports. The cats were continually overbred and their cubs sold unscrupulously, and according to Eric Goode, who co-directed the series with filmmaker Rebecca Chaiklin, this was an “extreme case of animal hoarding.”

“He would shoot animals randomly in front of me,” Goode told the Post’s Karin Brulliard. “He shot a chicken just because it crowed too much. There’s a lot of crocodile tears — Joe tells people what they want to hear. But he was monetizing these animals. He didn’t care who he sold them to. He was exploiting them. And you cannot love 230 tigers. It’s absurd to think that he loved each and every one of his animals. He was making money off of them.”

Chickens weren’t the only unfortunate shooting victims. Exotic also killed five tigers, and when you consider that there are only 3,900 wild tigers left in the world, this is heinous. Even sadder still is this: there are 5,000 captive tigers in the U.S. It’s unknown how far tigers roam in the wild, but some believe these majestic cats travel up to 31 miles per day. Which really means a caged tiger is an unhappy one.

It also means making money by exploiting innocent animals should be considered inherently evil. And no, Trump shouldn’t pardon Joe Exotic. But considering the fact that his sons Donald Jr. and Eric are avid hunters, it’s entirely like Trump doesn’t care about these things.

He doesn’t even care about the nearly 260,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19. Tigers and their welfare are probably something that’s not in his purview.

I’ve included TMZ’s interview with Love in the video below.

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity.

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