‘Tiger King’: The Devastating Truth About How the G. W. Zoo Got Its Name From Joe Exotic’s Brother

by Jeremy Spirogis
Joe Exotic

Fans can’t cease watching the Netflix docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. The memes and feedback in regards to the sequence on social media frequently sway increasingly more individuals to look at the documentary. However, after watching, viewers nonetheless have so many questions. 

Joe Maldonado-Passage — Joe Exotic — bred lions, tigers, and ligers at his roadside zoo, now referred to as the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. However, that wasn’t all the time the zoo’s title. The G. W. Zoo initially acquired its title from Exotic’s youthful brother.

Joe Exotic
Joe Exotic | Netflix

‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic grew up on a farm in Kansas together with his brothers and sisters

Exotic had two brothers and two sisters. He and his siblings grew up with horses, cows, chickens, canine, cats, and numerous different animals that the kids introduced residence — antelopes, porcupines, and raccoons. The household was anticipated to work on the farm. 

Exotic liked animals as a toddler and have become the president of his native 4-H chapter at a younger age. He raised present pigeons but additionally took in squirrels and raccoons. The founding father of the zoo dreamed of being a veterinarian as a younger boy. 

When Exotic grew up, he met his first husband, Brian Rhyne, in Arlington, Texas. The couple moved right into a trailer park along with a pack of poodles. Exotic acquired a job down the road from his residence at a pet retailer referred to as Pet Safari. Later, Exotic and his brother, Garold Wayne, determined to purchase the shop collectively. 

After Exotic’s brother, Garold Wayne died, the G. W. Zoo was born

Wayne was concerned in a automotive accident in October 1997, whereas driving to Florida. He died only some days later. Exotic’s mother and father received a large settlement from the trucking firm that was liable for Garold’s dying. Their father refused to spend the cash, calling it “blood money.”

Garold’s spouse and youngsters wished to construct a soccer discipline in his honor. However, Exotic satisfied them of one thing else. Exotic instructed them that Garold’s dream was to go to Africa to see wild lions. He wished to deliver that dream to individuals like Garold right here within the United States. 

With the cash from his brother’s dying and the blessing of his mother and father, he bought a horse ranch in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. Exotic started the zoo as a refuge for rescued animals. He named the zoo after his brother, calling it the Garold Wayne Exotic Animal Memorial Park. However, locals all referred to it because the G. W. Zoo.

Joe Exotic’s zoo turned huge in a short time — he needed to discover a extra substantial revenue

Word acquired round rapidly that Exotic was capable of rescue giant grownup cats. Most individuals couldn’t home giant cats as a result of they’re harmful and costly to feed. Within two years, the brand new zoo proprietor discovered himself with over a dozen huge cats. 

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He went to the close by Walmart and talked them into donating their expired meat to the animals. Exotic additionally secured donations from numerous different sponsors. However, he frequently needed to borrow increasingly more cash from his mother and father to cowl the payments. 

Exotic started taking tiger cubs to purchasing malls and flea markets to herald extra revenue. In 2002, he partnered with a magician in a present that turned a tiger cub right into a full-grown one in entrance of the viewers’s eyes. 

Although Exotic began with a love of animals, many testimonials on the Tiger King clarify that by the tip, he had misplaced that feeling. 

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