It is thought that the central character Joe Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, has contracted coronavirus in prison and has been relocated to successfully isolate from others.
Tiger King star, Joe Exotic, is believed to have coronavirus whilst a tiger in the Bronx zoo is the first known animal to contract the virus.
The Tiger King, for those that haven’t binge-watched Netflix series yet (if not – where have you been), is a captivating and somewhat-sensationalist docuseries that does not shy away from all things scandalous. We’re introduced to the world of big cats through a lens of debauchery. Drugs, polygamy, murder-for-hire – nothing is off-limits for these animal owners.
Whilst the show delves into many interconnected lives; friendships, relationships and arch-rivalries alike, there is one character that stands out as the reigning Tiger King; Joe Exotic. Exotic, the big-cat owner/ country-star is eccentric, colourful and nothing short of mad. It is only in the final episode we discover he is facing a 22-year sentence in prison.
Six months ago, if you’d come face-to-face with a time-traveller who forewarned you “Joe Exotic has coronavirus”, the premonition would be utterly meaningless. And yet now, in a world where nothing is left untouched by this highly contagious virus, no news story could be more relevant – fusing together the medical and the media worlds and the only two things on anyone’s mind.
Many viewers, took to twitter to comment and make light of the situation:
COVID-19 has shown once again that it does not discriminate when it comes to its victims. We saw earlier today with the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that no amount of power or status could grant immunity from the virus.
The latest news reveals that the virus does not discriminate against species too. Much like the series, full of sudden twists and unexpected turns the plot has thickened exponentially. Tiger King’s PR team must be having a field day, as now not only is Joe Exotic thought to have the virus but the first animal case is none other than a tiger at the Bronx zoo.
While humanity preserves itself by measures of self-isolation, the latest case of coronavirus begs the question on the tip of any animal-lovers lips: “how do you impose isolation for wild animals already in captivity?”
Any case of coronavirus is devastating. But, these cases seem so surreal given the profile of Exotic and big-cats as a species which have only recently been thrust into the public eye. Louis Theroux, the renowned journalist and documentary-maker offers food-for-thought as to the stark reality that both Exotic and the infected tiger have been infected “by a creature many times smaller and much less physically impressive than a tiger, but altogether more deadly.”