The Ending Of Tiger King 2 Explained

The second reign of the Tiger King has come and gone this week, and while our jaws didn't necessarily drop as low as the first time around, there were still a good few shocking twists and turns that earned the price of admission to Joe Exotic's rad, mad world. "Tiger King 2" saw dynasties rise and fall at the hands of competing safari park owners, thought-to-be dead husbands revealed to be potentially alive, and some wild characters who ended up in tiger-orange jumpsuits — minus the stripes. Standard fare, really.

But after all that chaos unraveling, just how did it all end for "Tiger King 2" after the dust had settled? What came of the incarcerated Joe Exotic and his questionable circle of business associates? Well, keep your hands behind the fence at all times as we break down the end of the dramatic and downright nuts ending of Netflix's "Tiger King 2."

The enraged rise and fall of Tim Stark

Easily one of the most irate characters on the show this season, Tim Stark was a former business partner to Jeff Lowe. After falling out with Lowe over the development of GW Zoo, Stark returned to his own establishment, Wildlife in Need, only to face more trouble. After being secretly filmed on the premises, Stark was hit with an injunction after some of his zoo volunteers blew the whistle on the facility's treatment of animals. Reports of tigers being declawed and animal shows being held in unhealthy conditions were put forward to PETA, who filed a complaint for the violation of the Endangered Species Act. It marked the beginning of the end for Wildlife in Need.

In September, Tim was given a court order to remove his animals, some of which were stored in an abandoned truck. At this point, Tim fled the scene, leading to a warrant being put out on his arrest. In October, he was arrested in New York, brandishing a toy grenade — for real.

'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'

After failing to get a Presidential pardon from Donald Trump, Joe Exotic ran out of options for early release. That was until he found some unsuspecting allies to work with on his case — both of whom helped put him behind bars in the first place.

In the kind of team-up that hasn't rocked Netflix audiences since the last season of "Cobra Kai," Joe was informed by his new lawyer, John M. Phillips, that Jeff Lowe was willing to recant his initial statement that put the Tiger King away. Instead, he signed an affidavit confirming that during his time as an informant for the police investigation, he was told what was needed to tag Joe with the murder-for-hire charge, which led to his presumed effort to kill Carole Baskin. In the final episode, "Stark Raving Mad," Lowe was seen on a call with Exotic himself, revealing to his former business partner that the information they had "would shake up the world."

However, as if this wasn't complex enough, former 'hired hitman' Allen Glover, who played a part in Joe's charge, came forward with what he called a "game-changer." After also retracting his previous statement, Glover provided information revealing that — before the federal government got involved — he had been in talks with Lowe to kill Joe, ensuring the co-owner would obtain complete control of the park. As revealed in the episode, Lowe has declined to comment on this, and Exotic is still awaiting re-sentencing.


After passing between numerous hands, GW Zoo reached a breaking point in 2020, after failing a routine inspection on the premises by the Department of Agriculture. As a result, PETA filed a lawsuit against the owner, Jeff Lowe, leading to animals on the property being removed from the premises by federal agents. This sparked the move for Jeff to retract his previous statement and work alongside Joe Exotic to obtain a retrial for the former Tiger King.

Before that could happen, though, Carole Baskin, who had removed herself from the series spotlight following the first season, gained ownership of GW Zoo, as per her initially filed lawsuit against Exotic. The final episode showed her husband, Howard, taking a saw to the GW logo, removing the last remnants of the Tiger King's kingdom. From here, she put the land on sale with the specific stipulation that any future owner would be unable to home exotic animals on the premises.

Tigers find a new home

After all the betrayal, backtracking, and bad haircuts in this season of "Tiger King," the one positive to come out of it all was the eventual rescue of big cats and other wildlife that were being held in horrific conditions. As shown in the closing moments of the season, 127 tigers originally belonging to Joe Exotic, Jeff Lowe, and Tim Stark were relocated to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado. Formerly caged animals were shown running in spaces vastly different from their former residences. The bittersweet truth, of course, is it still doesn't compare to the real thing.

As explained on the show by conservation biologist Barney Long, "There's no cage big enough for a tiger. They really do require a whole landscape in which to live in. There's actually enough habitat out there to triple or quadruple the number of tigers in the wild, so the common talking point you hear in roadside zoos that there's no world left for tigers? That's simply not true."

It's a surprisingly hopeful place to end a predictably dark and disturbing sophomore run for "Tiger King."