Joe Exotic's former producer is coming forward in the wake of the success of Tiger King, telling a disturbing story of how the former Oklahoma zookeeper once shot a horse and fed it to his tigers ahead of his conviction and sentencing in the murder-for-hire plot against fellow big cat owner Carole Baskin.
Rick Kirkham, who dished about his time producing a reality show titled Joe Exotic, Tiger King with the big cat owner in the hit Netflix docuseries, told the story during Wednesday's TMZ Live, praising the documentary for how "accurate" the depiction of the craziness surrounding Joe Exotic was. “Let me tell you… this documentary is so accurate it’s frightening. I’ve actually had nightmares the last several nights since it’s been airing. If anything, the documentary doesn’t go far enough to show how crazy Joe was,” Kirkham said during Wednesday's episode, telling the story of a "poor old woman" who came to Joe with her pet horse, whom she was no longer able to care for.
"The lady was crying," Kirkham told TMZ. "She had a horse in the trailer that was so old, she couldn’t take care of it. She said ‘Joe, can you take care of this horse for me?’ He said, ‘Oh, of course we will. I’ll give him a nice pasture to run in."
After the woman was comforted by Joe, Kirkham alleged things took a dark turn.
"By the time she got to the exit of the zoo, Joe told me, ‘Watch me Rick.’ He walked right up to that horse trailer, pulled out his revolver and shot the horse in the head," Kirkham said, adding that Joe then allegedly "cut it up and fed it to the tigers."
"That was Joe Exotic on a daily basis," he explained.
Joe is currently serving a 22-year sentence in prison after being found guilty in 2019 of paying a hit man $3,000 to kill Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin, who operates her own facility in Tampa, Florida. The hit didn't go through, but did land Joe in prison, as he was also found guilty of killing tigers to make room for more cats at his exotic animal park.
Photo credit: Netflix