Tiger King Character Review

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Jack Pittman, Copy Editor

The year of 2020 has gotten off to a horrible start so far with both WW3 threats and a global pandemic. Who would have thought that a gay, gun-totting, big-cat owning redneck was going to the person to bring the world together during our quarantine? Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness contains all kinds of interesting characters that I will list below.

 

(Spoiler Alert)

 

Joe is the founder of the G.W. Exotic Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. He is the ultimate television personality with his affinity for the camera and flamboyant personality. He has two husbands, countless guns, and a prolific fake country music career. Joe spends the majority of the show seeking to hurt Carole Baskin in any way he can; however, this eventually makes him go bankrupt. The bankruptcy leads Joe to seek financial backing from Jeff Lowe, and that’s when things really begin to go downhill.

 

Carole Baskin runs the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida with her third husband Howard Baskin. They are animal rights activists who are seeking to end the private ownership of big cats, while owning big cats themselves. Carole and her husband have the financial resources to legally destroy Joe and his facility. But, the way she gained those finances is the source of her greatest weakness. Carole allegedly killed her 2nd husband, Don Lewis, stealing his millions of dollars. There are a number of theories as to what happened to him, including feeding him to the tigers and leaving his body in the septic tank under her facility. None of them can actually be proved, though (she totally did it).

 

Bhagavan Antle (AKA Doc Antle) is a fellow private zoo owner with the Myrtle Beach Safari. Doc is presented as a smarter and more respected Joe through the way he presents himself and his zoo. This, however, does not mean Doc is not an interesting character, as he has 3 wives and his doctorate is in the “mystical arts.” It is also revealed at the end of the show that Doc’s facility was raided by the FBI for allegations of using a gas chamber to kill cubs that are too old for cub petting.

 

Jeff Lowe enters into the documentary as a saving grace when Joe is financially drained from fighting Carole, but he turns out to not be the hero Joe thought he was. Jeff Lowe is a convicted felon and a notorious con man, but Joe trusts him nonetheless. Eventually, Joe signs the park over to Jeff in an attempt to trip up Carole’s lawyers, but the moment this transaction is completed, the real Jeff is revealed. Jeff manages to swindle everyone involved and walk away with the park and an ongoing federal investigation.