64 million people tuned to watch the shenanigans of the mullet-wearing “zoo operator” and convicted felon Joe Exotic including Mike Tyson.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, Tyson claimed there was a possibility he acquired his three pet tigers, Kenya, Storm, and Boris, from the disgraced tiger breeder after he returned home from his prison stint in the early 1990s. Tyson told the publication:
“It could have been, maybe where I got my cats could have got their cats from Joe. But I don’t know. If you are in the exotic animal world, you are aware of him.”
Despite many people not really caring for Exotic following the strange but wildly entertaining Netflix doc, Tyson still caped for Joe.
“People always say these people are scumbags. But these are amazing people with what they can do with their ingenious minds and control over other people’s minds. These guys are born leaders.”
Exotic is currently serving a 22-year jail term for a murder-for-hire plot and federal wildlife violations.
But, Tyson expressed remorse in owning the tigers he eventually lost along with his fortune. Speaking with Fat Joe on the Bronx rapper’s Instagram Live talk show, Iron Mike spoke about his foolish decision to own the big cat.
“I was foolish. There’s no way you can domesticate these cats 100 percent … There’s no way that’s going to happen. They’ll kill you by accident, especially when you’re playing rough with them, you’re punching them back. They get hyped up, hit you back, and you’re dead.”
“I’m just happy I educated myself. I was doing the wrong s–t. I shouldn’t have had them in my house, believing they were domesticated. I was wrong.”
During the interview, Tyson also spoke about an incident where he had to cough up $250,000 to a woman who was hurt by one of his pet tigers after it tore up her hand.
“Somebody jumped over my fence where the tiger was and started playing with the tiger. The tiger didn’t know the lady, so it was a bad accident. She jumped into the property where the tiger was.”
Tyson and his tiger was even the subject of a joke in the 2009 hit comedy The Hangover.
Tyson isn’t the only athlete whose name has come up when talking about Joe Exotic. NBA analyst and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal addressed his appearance at Exotic’s “zoo” on an episode his The Big Podcast With Shaq.
“I was just a visitor. I met this guy. Not my friend. Don’t know him. Never had any business dealings with him, and I had no idea any of that stuff was going on. People that know me know that I’m righteous. I don’t harm tigers. I love tigers. We found out that he’s involved with all the stuff, and then, actually, I stopped going.”
“…the motto said ‘treat others as if you’d want them to treat you.’ And that’s how I treat people. I’m nice, I’m friendly, I’m respectful. If I had any inclination, that guy was doing that.. You guys know I wouldn’t have been 100 miles from that park”
We’re just glad to hear the Tyson realized how dangerous it is to own the wild animal as a pet.
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