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The Biggest Unanswered Questions In Tiger King

Ah, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and MadnessEver since its release, the Netflix docuseries has been tearing its way through our collective consciousness like its namesake big cat predator. Its incredible twists and turns have made Joe Exotic's mullet-and-mustache combo one of the more recognizable tonsorial fashion choices out there, and left viewers shaking their heads in disbelief.  

A significant part of the documentary's appeal is the way it appears to leave no stone unturned. Still, while Tiger King goes all in when it comes to revealing the many strange secrets of its subjects, this narrative choice comes at a price. Because the docuseries is filled to the absolute brim with "wait, what?" moments, it simply doesn't have enough time to answer all the questions left running through viewers' heads. Today, we'll take a look at some of the mysteries the show left us with, and see if we can provide some answers. Come, let's take a look at the biggest unanswered questions in Tiger King

What happened to the Tiger King's animal park?

Many of the people featured on Tiger King ended up worse for wear — like Saff Saffery, the staffer who lost his arm in 2013 — but the same also happened to Joe Exotic's Garold Wayne Exotic Animal Memorial Park, which was later renamed Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. As the docuseries reveals, the zoo took a whole bunch of hits — ranging from massive financial difficulties to, you know, Joe Exotic being Joe Exotic. In the end, the combination of these two things facilitated the entrance of a new player, businessman Jeff Lowe. 

As the Los Angeles Times reminds us, Lowe was supposed to save the park as Exotic's business partner, but ended up taking over the place. While he continues to operate the park, Tiger King co-directors Rebecca Chaiklin and Eric Goode believe that things aren't going too smoothly. In a March 2020 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Goode noted that the park is pretty much "operating on fumes," and that, what with one thing and another, chances are no one's going there at the moment. As for Lowe, Goode stated, "I suspect he's at a point where he's probably got to put down animals, left to right, just to be able to feed the ones that he can't." 

So, yeah. Things might not be getting any better for the poor tigers of Wynnewood in the future. At least Goode thinks that some of the animals will probably be placed... hopefully somewhere with much better conditions. 

Where is Joe Exotic, the Tiger King himself, now?

While Tiger King as a whole is a giant tangle of surprises that would make a nest of angry snakes seem like a straight line, the height of its madness is probably Joe Exotic's assortment of crimes, which included killing five tigers and hatching a madcap plot to have big cat activist Carole Baskin assassinated (via CNN). This ended his career as a roadside-zoo-manager-slash-tiger-breeder to the tune of 22 years in prison, so it's probably fair to assume that Exotic isn't particularly happy with his life right now. After all, if anything, the documentary series made it clear that he's a man who very much values the freedom to do his own thing.

Or so you'd think. The doc's co-directors Chaiklin and Goode have actually told the Los Angeles Times that while prison hasn't been particularly easy on him, Exotic is actually "absolutely thrilled" about his newfound fame, and he keeps mentioning all the media attention he's getting. Goode also suspects that the ex-Tiger King is gearing up to become an "advocate for criminal justice reform," using the ironic twist of now being in a cage himself to play up his newfound understanding of how he used to treat animals. So don't be surprised if this isn't the last time we hear of Joe Exotic.

What are Tiger King's Carole Baskin and Doc Antle up to these days?

Apart from Joe Exotic himself, Tiger King gave plenty of attention to two other tiger-oriented folks: Carole Baskin and Bhagavan "Doc" Antle

Baskin, of course, is Exotic's nemesis, and what she lacks in the Tiger King's theatrical backwood shenanigans, she more than makes up with her own peculiarities. These include the self-proclaimed title of "Mother Teresa of big cats," her tireless campaigning against Exotic and his ilk, and the controversial nature of Big Cat Rescue, the sanctuary that she operates. Tiger King even implies that she may have had something to do with the disappearance of Don Lewis, her first husband. 

Meanwhile, Doc Antle is essentially the refined mainstream version of Exotic's sideshow act. At least, until you find out that he's in the habit of riding elephants and striking up relationships with several of the young, pretty ladies who make up the workforce at his Myrtle Beach Safari animal park. 

While it might be fair to expect that the good ships Baskin and Antle would be sailing stormy waters in the wake of the documentary series, it looks like both of them are carrying on (more or less) as usual. Antle's park was being investigated by officials in 2019, but as WMBF News reported on December 11, 2019, Antle has said that the investigation concerns the origins of three lion cubs that may be connected to a dodgy zoo in Virginia, rather than Myrtle Park Safari's own goings-on. As for Baskin, she's still heading Big Cat Rescue, and keeping herself busy refuting pretty much everything Tiger King said about her on the Big Cat Rescue blog – up to and very much including the allegations regarding her first husband. 

How could Joe Exotic sing so well on his albums?

Tiger King makes much of Joe Exotic's highly camp yet surprisingly golden-voiced side gig as a country singer, allowing his wonderfully kitchy videos and tunes like "I Saw A Tiger" to take over on occasion. While we can all appreciate the majestic beauty of a guitar-wielding Exotic standing on the hood of an emergency truck while belting out the cheesiest lyrics this side of Steven Seagal's Songs from the Crystal Cave, the burning question remains: How could a guy whose speaking voice sounds like that sound like he did on record? Surely, there's not enough autotune in the world. 

According to Julie Miller of Vanity Fair, this vocal disparity is caused by the simple fact that it wasn't actually Mr. Exotic doing the singing. For the rare viewers able to tear their eyes away from the wonderfully tacky sky effects and the ever-present big cats, it's pretty obvious that the man was lip-syncing like no one's business. 

Per Vanity Fair, this visible unfamiliarity with his own vocals is due to the simple fact that the tracks are actually performed by musicians Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton. Tiger King producer Rick Kirkham has confirmed that the production crew once managed to get Exotic to sing a bit, and the results were... less than optimal. "He couldn't even hold a tune," Kirkham said. "It was just so ludicrous." Still, it's probably best to equip this one with a pretty big asterisk and an "allegedly" mention. After all, Tiger King co-directors Rebecca Chaiklin and Eric Goode have told the Los Angeles Times that despite his reported vocal challenges, it's possible that Exotic actually does sing on at least some of the songs.