By Brendan Labra, Student Writer
Well this episode definitely starts off with a bang. The widely popular Tiger King that premiered on Netflix in late March took the nation by storm. The second episode of the popular mini docuseries gets started with a panicked 911 call from the G.W. Zoo.
A worker at the G.W. Zoo by the name of Kelci “Saff” Saffery stuck her arm into a tiger cage, and had part of her arm ripped off. Joe Exotic then says, “I don’t know how I am ever going to financially recover from this” and then the title screen comes. So needless to say, things picked up rather quickly in this episode.
Saff was offered two years of reconstructive surgery or having her arm amputated and she chose to amputate. She also did not want to cause any negative media coverage around the G.W. Zoo and instead decided to get back to work at an alarmingly quick rate.
A Tiger Zoo for All
Moving on from this event, this episode focuses mostly on the differing exotic zoos across the nation. The four zoos that they focus on are three that we were briefly introduced last episode along with a new one, run by former drug lord Mario Tabraue.
Tabraue’s zoo does not get fleshed out in great detail in this episode, however it is important to note that he drops the biggest bombshell of the series so far in the episode’s dying moments. But we will return to that.
This episode’s main goal seems to be to focus on the three leaders of the zoos that we introduced in the first episode, with a highlight on Doc Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari. At this point we can agree that Doc Antle is a somewhat ‘normal’ person, but then we learn more and more about his zoo and that hypothesis gets completely thrown out the window.
Antle is known for having multiple wives and attracts teenagers to come to work for him and then stay for years. It is heavily implied that in order to work your way up the ladder, you have to perform sexual acts for Antle. So…Antle is essentially running some sort of zoo-cult hybrid.
Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin are also key characters in this episode. One fascinating and rather depressing part of this episode is when the audience finds out that Exotic feeds his tigers freshly expired meat from Walmart.
Over at Big Cat Rescue, it really seems as though Carole Baskin is pulling ahead as the person that audience is meant to be rooting for. However, even she has her own set of problems. There are multiple shots of tigers in cages and it seems to bring up the question of how Baskin is really different from these people she is fighting against. And then there’s the bomb that Tabaue drops.
As I mentioned above, drug lord Mario Tabraue told the filmmakers quite a juicy anecdote towards the episode’s final moments. Tabraue suggests that Baskin fed her ex-husband, former millionaire Don Lewis to tigers to get him to disappear. Then the episode just…ends. There is certainly mayhem in this Netflix docu-series. Tune in next time when we aim to find out whether Baskin really did feed her husband to tigers.