‘Tiger King’ star Joe Exotic diagnosed with “aggressive” prostate cancer

The zoo founder is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence

Joe Exotic, who featured in Netflix’s documentary series Tiger King, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In an Instagram post, Exotic said doctors told him on Wednesday (November 3) that he’d been diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease following a prostate biopsy.

“Everyone, it is with a sad face that I have to tell you the doctors called me in today to break the news that my prostate biopsy came back with an aggressive cancer,” Exotic wrote. “I am still waiting on the results from other test as well.”


The zoo founder is serving a 22-year prison sentence after he was convicted of attempting to hire two men to kill animal rights activist and Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin – who also featured in Tiger King.

Later in the post, Exotic pleads for his release so he can “go home and get treatment on my own or enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones”.

The diagnosis was confirmed in a statement by Exotic’s attorney, John Phillips, which reads (via CNN): “The PSA test is a blood test used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. It was high. He finally obtained biopsies. They revealed cancer.

“Medical care is different in a prison environment and fewer options are available.”

Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is set to be resentenced following a court order in July which ruled he should serve a shorter prison sentence. The ruling states he should have been sentenced to somewhere between 17 and a half years and just under 22 years in prison, rather than between just under 22 years and 27 years in prison.


A sequel to Netflix’s documentary series, titled Tiger King 2, is set to be released on November 17.

Ahead of its release, Baskin filed a lawsuit against Netflix and Royal Goode Productions claiming the series used unauthorised footage of her and husband Howard Baskin.

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