by Will Twigger13:20, 14 Apr 2020Updated20:35, 14 Apr 2020 3-4 minutes
Carolyn Mueller Kelly was disgusted by the ‘appalling’ animal abuse in the Netflix hit after she was urged to give it a watch by friends
A zoo keeper has lashed out at Netflix hit Tiger King for the “appalling” animal abuse committed by the show’s central figure, Joe Exotic.
Joe – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – is currently serving time behind bars for 17 federal charges of animal abuse, as well as two counts of murder for hire.
Tiger King focuses on Joe and his collection of exotic animals.
Now, tiger keeper Carolyn Mueller Kelly has given her damning verdict on the show after she finally sat down to watch it on the insistence of her pals.
“The animal abuse was appalling,” she wrote for Huffington Post. The show focuses on the character of Joe Exotic(Image: Daily Mirror)
“Seeing Joe Exotic tear tiger cubs, only minutes old, away from their mother so that they could become props in his ‘cub petting’ scheme is not a scene I will quickly forget.”
Carolyn, though, took more of an issue with Big Cat Rescue founder and Joe’s nemesis Carole Baskin’s claim that she doesn’t hire animal caretakers, as “people will do that stuff for free.”
Carolyn describes the degree of care and attention the animals need, as well as the expertise required for someone to take care of these animals, expressing discomfort with the notion that just anyone would come along to do it.
Carolyn slammed Joe for his cruelty(Image: Daily Mirror)
She continues that Carole’s attitude is even more troubling in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
“I was prepping to leave my safe space,” she writes, “Potentially risking the safety of my family, to care for the zoo’s animals.”
Mirror Online has approached representatives of Netflix for comment.
Carole responded to calls to pay her volunteers with a video posted to her YouTube channel, in which she explains that the care of the animals at Big Cat Rescue is done by volunteers and interns.
Carole said people would ask as caretakers for the animals ‘for free.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they have had to let go of half their paid staff, and Carole and her husband have taken a pay cut.
She added that the volunteers love being around and caring for the animals, and that she’s offered to pay volunteers in the past – which has been met with refusal.
She also said that Big Cat Rescue receives “excellent ratings” from charity watchdog groups.”
Despite her horror at what is perpetrated during the series, Carolyn ends her piece with a message of hope.
“None of us knows what a post-pandemic world will look like,” she admits, “But I sure hope that there will be a bright future for both humans and tigers.