In case you thought this series couldn’t possibly get any more spinoffs, just know there’s another new Tiger King documentary, Surviving Joe Exotic, coming to Animal Planet this year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the special by Animal Planet is set to premiere July 25 on the channel, and it will focus on the animals who lived at and survived Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage’s former G.W. Zoo.
Renamed to Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park following Maldonado-Passage’s arrest, the zoo once helmed by the subject of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness wasn’t just the setting for the massive Netflix production. It was a place where exotic animals of all kinds were mistreated—and in some cases, allegedly murdered. While Netflix’s Tiger King just scratches the surface of what happened to the animals at Maldonado-Passage’s zoo, this new special on Animal Planet promises to showcase the aftermath for these creatures. Viewers can expect to see how animals were rescued and treated following Maldonado-Passage’s arrest, including the story of two visually impaired tigers—Kryxis and Kadira—whose vision was restored after undergoing corrective surgery at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Indiana.
A trailer for the upcoming special has already been released, available to watch below. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the trailer boasts one of Maldonado-Passage’s final interviews before being arrested on murder-for-hire charges against big cat conservationist, Carole Baskin, along with never-before-seen footage that was filmed for a separate Animal Planet project at Maldonado-Passage’s zoo. In the trailer, fans can hear Maldonado-Passage’s expletive-laden speech as interviewers question him about his goals and mission at his zoo.
“We are a zoo open to the public that takes unwanted animals,” Maldonado-Passage says. At one point, however, the Tiger King star admits, “I don’t know why the hell I’m doing this,” when asked why he runs the zoo in the first place.
He adds, “This is definitely not one of the things you do to make money,” before nonchalantly saying “These are my f**king tigers, and I’m going to sell them,” as if in response to his money-making troubles.
Currently, Maldonado-Passage is serving a 22-year prison sentence in a Texas prison after being found guilty for paying $3,000 to have Baskin killed. Maldonado-Passage was also found guilty on multiple animal cruelty charges, having falsified wildlife records in violation of both the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act. His zoo was purchased by Tiger King subject Jeff Lowe following his arrest, but in the months since, Carole Baskin was officially granted ownership of the failing animal park by an Oklahoma City judge.
In March, director Eric Goode told Entertainment Weekly that the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park was crumbling under Lowe’s leadership. While it was still open at time, Goode remarked that it was “basically operating on fumes.”
“No one is going now and there’s no source of income, and that’s been going on for a long time,” Goode said. “It’s not something that has just happened because of what’s happening in the world today.”
Surviving Joe Exotic premieres on July 25 on Animal Planet.