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What Happened To Carole Baskin From Tiger King?

In case you haven't yet heard, it looks like Netflix has another hit to add to its documentary oeuvre. The latest offering is titled Tiger King, and it follows a group of eccentric characters who are all playing dramatically different roles in North American big cat culture. Just in case you think the eight-episode series is all hard-hitting expose about the plight of big cats (i.e. tigers, lions, leopards, and such) born in captivity, know that Netflix's true crime show sports the subtitle Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. And yes, there's plenty of all of those things at play in Tiger King.

At the center of the series is the truly bonkers persona of one Joe Exotic, a big cat breeder-slash-sometime magician who operated a shady roadside zoo in rural Oklahoma. Imagine Will Arnett's Gob Bluth from Arrested Developmentand you'll have a decent picture of Joe Exotic. It's just that sort of flippant, Gob-like mentality that led Exotic to try to hire an assassin to kill his longtime nemesis, Carole Baskin. If you're wondering why Exotic might've wanted Baskin out of the picture, she's a big cat activist who has had it in for irresponsible breeders who seemingly trade in the mistreatment of the very cats they breed.  

For the record, Tiger King doesn't exactly paint a noble picture of Baskin, either. The show posits that she may have had a hand in the disappearance of her first husband Don Lewis, and that the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary she operates in Tampa doesn't do enough for the animals it houses or the employees who help care for them. As the streaming series continues to score bingers from far and wide, some folks are wondering what became of the self-proclaimed "Mother Teresa of big cats." Here's what happened to Carole Baskin from Tiger King.

Carole Baskin is still claiming "Mother Teresa" status among the big cat set

Just as a general sort of spoiler alert, we should tell you that Joe Exotic was not successful in his attempt to have Carole Baskin murdered, and that he is now serving a 22-year prison sentence for attempting to hire a hitman. As for what's become of Baskin since Tiger King found its way to the land of streaming, it should come as no surprise that she's still apparently trying to fight the good fight in the name of big cats born into captivity.

Of course, Baskin is also facing a fair amount of backlash in the wake of her less-than-flattering depiction in the documentary series. She's hardly taking that backlash lying down, though, recently hitting her Big Cat Rescue Blog to lob some serious grievances in the general direction of the Tiger King creative team.

"When the directors of the Netflix documentary Tiger King came to us five years ago they said they wanted to make the big cat version of Blackfish (the documentary that exposed abuse at SeaWorld) that would expose the misery caused by the rampant breeding of big cat cubs," Baskin wrote on the blog. "There are not words for how disappointing it is to see that the docuseries not only does not do any of that but has had the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewers."

Baskin goes on to defend herself against allegations of wrongdoing in her first husband's disappearance and Big Cat Rescue's overall operations. Whatever Tiger King viewers choose to believe, Carole Baskin is still doing all she can to combat big cat breeding operations, and will almost certainly continue for the foreseeable future — even though she is, ironically, allergic to cats.