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Joe Exotic

'Tiger King' Star John Reinke Says Joe Exotic Doesn't Deserve His 22-Year Sentence

By Clark Sparky

Joe Exotic, the central figure in the Netflix hit docuseries "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness," is currently serving a 22-year prisons sentence for attempting to hire someone to kill Carole Baskin and for various animal cruelty charges.

The former manager of his zoo, John Reinke, tells PopCulture.com that he doesn't think his former boss deserves to be behind bars for that long.

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Giphy | NETFLIX

"Joe would have never went that far. I truly believe that. He doesn’t need to be in [prison] for 22 years. I feel like he’s already been in there too long," Reinke told the outlet.

He also said there was no animal cruelty at their zoo. "There was no animal abuse. Those animals were being taken care of — I made sure of it," he said. "There's no way they could be turned loose. The wild doesn’t exist anymore."

Gettyimages | Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Baskin and another subject of the show, Myrtle Beach Safari owner Doc Antle, have both been highly critical of the show and said it misrepresented them.

"Netflix got it spot on. Everyone says, 'It isn’t me, it isn’t me.' Bullcrap! They got everyone spot on," Reinke told PopCulture about their claims. "When I see it on film, no wonder everyone thinks it can't be real. But it’s real! I lived it!"

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joe_Exotic_(Santa_Rose_County_Jail).png

"We are very disappointed that our facility was mentioned in the new Netflix series. We can only assume it is because Doc Antle has been such a high profile wildlife personality for so many decades that his association would create more buzz," Antle said in March on Instagram.

He added: "It is important to understand that this series is not a documentary; it’s sensationalized entertainment with paid participants. Tiger King is the bizarre story of Joe and Carole and their feud."

"These characters are not representative of experts in the wildlife sector or world class facilities like ours here in Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach Safari has been recognized by the state of South Carolina as one of the pre-eminent wildlife facilities in the United States. We’ve also received international accolades for the critical role we provide with our qualified, captive breeding programs and our global conservation efforts of threatened and endangered species."

Antle also lays out the guidelines his facility follows to make sure they are doing everything above-board:

"Myrtle Beach Safari adheres to all USDA guidelines, and our animals are treated with the utmost care. We have never had a USDA violation and work collaboratively with various state and federal wildlife agencies to ensure our animals receive the very best life each and every day."

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