Tiger King: Rick Kirkham Claims Joe Exotic Was Afraid of Big Cats

Netflix dropped a new episode of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness on Sunday with the Joel McHale-hosted after show checking in with various figures involved with the project and while finding out what's happened to them since the series there was one major reveal: Tiger King himself Joe Exotic is allegedly scared of big cats. According to former Inside Edition reporter Rick Kirkham, Exotic was terrified of big cats, so much so that the tigers in one shot in the series either disabled or sedated.

"The one thing that wasn't pointed out in the docuseries that's really important to know too, Joe was terrified of big cats," Kirkham said. "He was scared to death of lions and tigers. And in the shots that you see in there where he's in with the two tigers, the white one and the other one, the white one is blind and the other one is on tranquilizers. It's idiotic to think how he's become famous as 'the Tiger King' when he's so terrified of big cats."

The idea that things may not have been quite what they seemed in Tiger King isn't exactly a new one. Both "Doc" Bhagavan Antle and Carole Baskin both have shared their disappointment with how they were portrayed in the docuseries while John Finlay, Exotic's ex-husband, previously told TMZ that he was disappointed that the Netflix documentary didn't use any of the footage that was filmed after he had gotten his teeth fixed.

Kirkham's claim that Exotic is actually afraid of big cats isn't the only surprising revelation in the new episode. It was also revealed that not everyone who participated in the docuseries has seen it yet. Erik Cowie, head zookeeper at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, hasn't yet seen the entire docuseries.

“I haven’t seen it, [chuckling I really haven’t,” Cowie said. “Ten minutes…No! No. And I need to because, uh, that way, I can have some semblance of ammunition for, you know, some of the things that come out of people’s mouths. Or the me-mes or memes or whatever they’re called. Uh, you know, I…I don’t know where they’re coming from or what…You know, so no I haven’t seen it.”

Netflix describes Tiger King as:

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"Among the eccentrics and cult personalities in the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners, few stand out more than Joe Exotic, a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo. Charismatic but misguided, Joe and an unbelievable cast of characters including drug kingpins, conmen, and cult leaders all share a passion for big cats, and the status and attention their dangerous menageries garner. But things take a dark turn when Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary, threatens to put them out of business, stoking a rivalry that eventually leads to Joe’s arrest for a murder-for-hire plot, and reveals a twisted tale where the only thing more dangerous than a big cat is its owner."

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is now streaming on Netflix.