Joe Exotic and the G.W. Zoo in Oklahoma — made infamous by Netflix’s Tiger King – are the focus of a new documentary from Discovery’s Animal Planet, called Surviving Joe Exotic.
The special will feature one of the last formal interviews conducted with the controversial former zoo operator — Joe Maldonado-Passage (pictured) — before his arrest in September 2018.
Viewers will follow the stories of animals that “made it out of the zoo for a second chance at life,” and hear from ex-employees such as Saff Saffery — who lost an arm to one of the tigers – rescue leaders, exotic animal experts, and others with “firsthand knowledge” of the animal trafficking and breeding that fueled Maldonado-Passage’s empire.
The film will also include “never-before-seen” footage of Maldonado-Passage filmed for Animal Planet’s Wolves and Warriors in 2018.
Surviving Joe Exotic premieres July 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet.
It is produced for Animal Planet by ITV America’s Leftfield Pictures, in association with Luce Change Inc. Gretchen Palek, Shawn Witt, Dave Luce and Karen Kunkel Young serve as executive producers. For Animal Planet, Keith Hoffman is executive producer and Sarah Russell is supervising producer.