Netflix: Joe Exotic's real name explained - How the Tiger King became Joe Maldonado-Passage

Tiger King Joe Exotic

Netflix's Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness tells the story of Joe Exotic but what was the eccentric zookeeper's real name?

True crime documentaries have soared in popularity in recent years with Netflix becoming one of the main hotspots for new binge-worthy series.

Their latest addition is Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness and it's safe to say that it has caught the attention of millions.

The series follows the eccentric Joe Exotic, an unorthodox zookeeper and aspiring politician and reality TV star.

As you can probably guess, however, Joe Exotic is not his real name but what exactly is his true identity?

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness on Netflix

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness tells the story of Joe Exotic and how the controversial zookeeper, who was famed for keeping and breeding big cats, became involved in the world of crime.

As well as several accusations of animal cruelty and abuse, Joe Exotic also found himself wound up in a murder-for-hire investigation after he attempted to pay a hitman, who was actually an undercover FBI agent, to kill an animal rights activist who had been at loggerheads with Joe for years. 

Tiger King Joe Exotic header

Who is Joe Exotic?

Joe Exotic was a well-known zookeeper and aspiring politician and reality TV star.

Joe, who is currently 57 years old, became known for running the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park which became the home of over 200 big cats including Lions, Tigers, Pumas and more.

On top of that, the eccentric Joe Exotic even ran for the US Presidency in 2016, receiving 962 votes and in 2018, he ran for the position of Oklahoma governor where he earned 664 votes.

The Netflix series, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, details life at Joe's wildlife park and even the lengths he would go to to ensure he stayed in charge.

Tiger King Joe Exotic

What is Joe Exotic's real name?

Joe Exotic's real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage.

While he's known by the nickname Joe Exotic, the unconventional zookeeper was born in 1963 as Joseph Schreibvogel but obviously that doesn't make for a good stage name.

Joe's current name, Maldonado-Passage stems from his marriages to Travis Maldonado and Dillon Passage.

Joe, who is openly gay, has actually been married four times and had unofficially tied the knot with a fifth man as well. 

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is available to stream now on Netflix after the seven-episode series arrived on March 20th, 2020.

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