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'Tiger King' Joe Exotic Fighting To Be Released From Prison, Files Appeal Of 22 Year Sentence

By Ryan Naumann

Netflix’s “Tiger King” star Joe Exotic has filed an appeal demanding his 22-year prison sentence be overturned.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Exotic (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage) has officially filed an appeal in federal court.

Back in January, Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison for attempting to hire a hitman to kill a rival Carole Baskin along with various crimes relating to animal abuse. Exotic has been serving his time at Grady County Jail in Chickasha, OK but is in the process of being transferred.

Exotic plead not guilty to the charges and believes he is the victim of a conspiracy between his ex-Zoo partner and government agencies. As The Blast first reported, the “Tiger King” star recently filed a $94 million-dollar lawsuit against his ex-partner Jeff Lowe along with the U.S. Federal Wildlife Service and the United State Department of Interior.

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Exotic not only brought a civil lawsuit for the alleged conspiracy against him but is now officially demanding his 22-year prison sentence be reviewed by an appellate court. His sentence not only included the prison time but ordered Exotic to participate in a mental health program once released from prison. He was ordered to abstain from drinking or using drugs before and after the treatment program. He was ordered to not have any contact with Carole Baskin.

The court order specifically stated, “The defendant is prohibited from making any threats regarding the person or property of Carole Baskin.” Exotic is prohibited from owning any species of animal listed as endangered or prohibited by the law. He has to allow officials to conduct random searches of his property after being released.


In newly filed court documents, Exotic states, “Notice is hereby given that Joseph Maldonado-Passage, defendant in the above-named case, hereby appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from the final judgment entered in this action on January 23, 2020.” Exotic believes the court ruled in error and wants the sentence to throw out.

In his civil lawsuit. Exotic is suing Lowe, the U.S. Federal Wildlife Service, the United State Department of Interior along with James Garretson, Daniel Ashe and Allen Glover. Exotic sold Lowe his G.W. Zoo before being sentenced. Lowe changed the name of the zoo to Greater Wynnewood Animal Park, which remains open.

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