One would think that once the person who hired a hitman to kill you had been sent to jail, you would feel safer, but Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness star Carole Baskin notes that she feels even more in danger after Joe Exotic's incarceration than when he was free, with Baskin noting she now carries a gun with her in hopes of defending herself against any potential threats. Baskin also noted that, for many public events, she hires a personal bodyguard, but that she has only earned more attention from supporters of Exotic in the year since the documentary series debuted, making her even more concerned about threats.
"If I had been in danger prior to Joe being sent to jail, I think I have been in more danger since," Baskin admitted to Telegraph. "As dangerous as he was, he's the least dangerous of those guys."
She continued, "But around town, I don't … I do carry a gun, but my belief is [I] would probably never see it coming. I don't think I'd be able to get to a gun in time."
Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue, initially began shutting down various events Exotic planned early in his career which saw him traveling to different locations with tiger cubs to allow interactions with the public. As they would regularly be shut down, Exotic turned his attention to opening a private zoo, with Baskin continuing to expose the abuse and poor living conditions the animals suffered under his care.
In response, Exotic began public threatening Baskin, which included destroying effigies of her on his internet show.
Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence for attempting to hire someone to murder Baskin, as well as numerous counts of animal abuse.
Baskin also noted that the increase of attention earned by Big Cat Rescue has resulted in more tourists, including those who fly drones over the property. The death threats she continues to face on a regular basis has her wary of these drones, due to how Exotic had hoped to use drones in a plot to kill her.
"Because that was one thing Joe thought would be a great way to kill people, dropping a grenade from a helicopter," Baskin noted. "Every day is a matter of living like that."
Only weeks ago, Baskin noted how she is now apprehensive of anyone approaching her, even if they're doing so to show their support of her efforts.
"It's so weird because of the combined fear of them being hitmen and not knowing them from the paparazzi, every time people are running up to me, I don't know if they're running up to kill me or running up to take a selfie," Baskin confessed during FOX's New Year's Eve event.
Stay tuned for updates on the future of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.
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