WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) -
The hottest thing streaming on Netflix right now is the docuseries: The Tiger King. Conner Mayes, a student at Syracuse University’s Newhouse school gives his thoughts on what everyone is talking about.
Netflix presents one of its most outrageous docuseries, Tiger King. It highlights the insane business of exotic animal trade and private zoos. It features a man named Joey Exotic, otherwise known as the ‘Tiger King’. The nickname stems from the fact that he owns a staggering total of 267 tigers. He is a gay, gun owning, Libertarian from Oklahoma, who owns a private zoo. In the series you get a deep, up close view of what happens in that zoo and the cult like following that surrounds it. On the cover you get to see exotic animals from around the world at his zoo, but you also get to see some of the grim realities that come with owning a zoo. This includes the mistreatment of animals, unsafe work conditions, and the abusive power owners’ have over their employees.
Joey Exotic’s main goal throughout the documentary is to take down PETA and Carole Baskin, owner of Big Cat Rescue. Carole Baskin is an animal rights activist that comes off as the crazy, old, cat lady down the street. Joey uses his internet show and a Reality T.V show to promote his feud between Carole. He tries to argue the hypocrisy between an animal sanctuary and a private zoo. Throughout the docuseries he tries painting a picture of Carole Baskins as an evil lunatic. However, his obsession with Carole Baskins and Big Cat Rescue becomes his utter downfall and his true colors really start to emerge.
The ending of the documentary is very poetic, the crew highlights how a tiger’s life is the perfect symbol for Joey Exotic. Throughout his early life he was the center of attention, but once he starts biting at the wrong people, he himself ends up locked in a cage.