Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Tiger King Season 2 - What We Know So Far

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was certainly among the more... unique years many of us have ever experienced. It was a year in which, for many of us, our entertainment options suddenly became limited to whatever streaming services could offer, making national obsessions out of movies and television series — some years old — that otherwise may have only registered just a blip on the pop culture radar. Among all of those, one Netflix miniseries, released very early into the pandemic and resulting lockdown, captivated the U.S. like no other: the seven-episode docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem.

Americans looking for a brief escape could hardly have found a better distraction, for the simple fact that Tiger King — the true story of unlicensed zoo owner Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, AKA Joe Exotic, and his many odd obsessions and rivalries — plunged them into an infinitely bizarre world that many never knew existed. As it turns out, those who keep big cats and other exotic animals in unlicensed, often ramshackle facilities are kind of a weird bunch, and it sure seems like most of them really don't like each other.

Joe Exotic is a singularly quirky personality: a gun-toting, country music-singing, big cat obsessive with multiple, much younger "husbands" (whom he never officially married) and a near-single-minded fixation on Carole Baskin, the owner of a rival facility who, to be fair, is portrayed as being just as obsessed with Joe. After the miniseries dropped, fans had three questions: will we get more of this strangeness, when will that be, and can it be right now? Series co-creator Rebecca Chaiklin teased them mercilessly in an Entertainment Weekly interview shortly after the series dropped, saying, "We have a crazy amount of footage [...] We're not sure yet, but there could be a follow-up on this story because there's a lot that's still unfolding in it, and it'll be just as dramatic and just as colorful as what has unfolded these past few years."

In August 2020, it was reported (via Independent) that Netflix has indeed re-upped for Tiger King season 2 — so let's look at what we could be in for.

Does Tiger King season 2 have a release date?

We won't keep you in suspense: currently, no release date has been announced for the second season of Tiger King, and indeed, there's a better-than-average chance that the whole thing will fall through. Now would be a good time to mention that the British tabloid The Sun, not exactly a beacon of reliable information, is the only outlet to directly report that Netflix has commissioned new episodes. 

Also, it's definitely worth pointing out that none of the colorful personalities featured in the first season — such as Baskin, rival unlicensed zoo owner Mahamayavi Bhagavan "Doc" Antle, Joe Exotic's former "husband" John Finlay, and his former business partner Jeff Lowe — have expressed unbridled enthusiasm for a second season, which we'll get into shortly. Complicating the matter is the fact that Joe himself is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for attempting to hire a hit man to kill Baskin, plus a litany of wildlife-related violations — Joe had been hoping for a pardon from former President Donald Trump that shockingly failed to pan out.

Of course, we can think of one good reason why Tiger King season 2 probably will come to pass: there is a heck of a lot more story to tell and there is clearly interest from viewers. Since the miniseries dropped, there have been a slew of new developments — and as you may have guessed, they are all quite dramatic, and many of them involve various authorities. 

Who is in the cast of Tiger King season 2?

More than one of these recent developments involve Baskin, who was none too pleased with how she was portrayed in Tiger King's first go-round. It wasn't just that the series suggested that her heartfelt commitment to the well-being of the animals that she keeps caged might be a touch insincere; mostly, it was the strong insinuation that she had something to do with the disappearance of her second husband, Don Lewis, who vanished without a trace in 1997.

Baskin had long claimed that Joe Exotic systematically harassed her, and in 2013, she won a $1 million judgment against him. In June 2020, in a bizarre turn of events, she was awarded control of his former property, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma (via Deadline). This development alone would make for a fascinating wrinkle in Tiger King's second season — but The Sun reports that in order to take part, Baskin has demanded to be paid $1 million, a figure that apparently has worked out well for her in the past.

In the wake of the judgment, Lowe — who had taken over the park upon Joe Exotic's imprisonment — had a chat with ET Online, during which he seemingly confirmed that Tiger King's producers were at work on season 2 — but he insisted he would not take part. "They have been trying to get us to go on," he said. "They've been labeling it season 2 [...] We told them we don't want to participate in any further episodes with them [...] Sure, we'd like to finish this story but not on their terms."

Of course, The Sun's report — published a couple months later in August 2020 — asserted that Lowe would return, along with Exotic's "husband" Dillon Passage — so, as with everything else surrounding the possibility of Tiger King season 2, the truth remains nebulous. We'll just have to wait for an official announcement to find out which, if any, of season 1's subjects will be taking part.

What's the plot of Tiger King season 2?

As to what crazy twists and turns might play out over a second season of Tiger King, we can actually parse out quite a lot from what's been publicly reported. Baskin's takeover of Joe Exotic's former property would certainly be a focus, as would his attempts to clear his name, his father's death from COVID-19 (via People), and his own rumored struggle with the disease (h/t the Austin American-Statesman).

Also, assuming that Lowe is involved, season 2 would likely deal with his attempts to open his own exotic animal park in Thackerville, Okalahoma (via Consequence of Sound). It could also include the subsequent lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice in November 2020, alleging his "recurring inhumane treatment and improper handling" of the animals under his care, a claim that Lowe has, of course, disputed, as NME reports.

Then, there's "Doc" Antle, who ran into some problems of his own in late 2020. In October, he was indicted on charges of wildlife trafficking after Virginia's attorney general found that he had allegedly conspired with the owner of an exotic animal park in that state to traffic lion and tiger cubs between Virginia and South Carolina, where Antle's Myrtle Beach Safari is located (via CNN). Antle vowed to fight the charges and "clear [his] good name," so, between his travails and those of Lowe, Tiger King season 2 could potentially have a healthy dollop of courtroom drama thrown into the mix.

On top of all this, there's Chaiklin's claim during her EW chat that she and fellow co-creator Eric Goode have hundreds of hours of unused footage from the first season. The ingredients are all there for another round of Tiger King craziness; now, it's up to the producers to squeeze it all into a half-dozen or so episodes, and Netflix to get it in front of our faces. We suggest bookmarking this page, because we'll be updating it regularly as more news becomes available.