Joe Exotic

Media personality, businessman, politician, comedian, actor, country singer

Joe Exotic

Joe Exotic is the nickname of Joseph Allen Schreibvogel, a former zookeeper and convicted felon from Oklahoma. He rose to fame in the 2020 Netflix documentary series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” which depicted his life running the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and his eventual arrest and conviction for attempting to hire a hitman to kill a rival animal rights activist.

Joe Exotic | Early Life, Family, and Education

Joe Exotic was born in Garden City, Kansas, on March 5, 1963. Francis and Shirly Schreibvogel are his parents, and Joseph Allen Schreibvogel is his birth name.

With his four siblings, he was raised in Kansas before the family relocated to Texas, where Joe finished high school. After his older brother informed his parents about it, his homosexuality was put into perspective.

After graduating from Pilot Point High School, he later joined the Eastvale police force and in 1982, the position of department chief was given to him. In 1985, a car accident apparently injured him, forcing him to resign from the police department


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Joe Exotic | Career


After the incident in 1985, Joe relocated to West Palm Beach, Florida, and started working as a pet store manager. Joe initially had the opportunity to hold infant lions during this time, which sparked his interest in exotic animals.

He finally went back to Texas and, in 1986, together with one of his brothers, G.W., founded their own pet shop in Arlington. Joe sold the pet store after his brother was killed in a vehicle accident in 1997 and then bought a 16-acre farm in Oklahoma.

He expanded the property over the following two years, and in 1999, he launched the Garold Wayne Exotic Animal Memorial Park in honor of his brother. The zoo’s first residents were two of his brother’s pets.

In 2000, Joe bought his first two tigers, both of which had been abandoned. A few of the alligators that Michael Jackson owned were also bought by him. Joe ran the G.W. Zoo for the following 20 years as his own business.

When Joe encountered a traveling musician in 2002 who used tigers in a number of his illusions, he came to the conclusion that he was also considering doing a similar act. From that point on, he started to amass an increasing number of big cats and started putting on traveling magic performances under the moniker “Joe Exotic.”


Joe appeared in a variety of documentaries when he operated the zoo over the years. His appearance in the Netflix documentary series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness” is particularly noteworthy. His rivalry with Carole Baskin, another Florida owner of big cats, was the focus of the episode. The program went on the air during the Covid-19 outbreak and quickly went viral.

Additionally, Joe Exotic has been in a number of reality television programs, including America’s Most Dangerous Pets, Surviving Joe Exotic, and Shooting Joe Exotic.

Music Career & Politics

Joe was an aspiring country music musician in addition to operating the zoo. On “Tiger King,” some of his original music can be heard. In the 2016 presidential election, he also ran but was unsuccessful.

He then entered the race for Oklahoma governor in the 2018 Libertarian Party primary. In the primary, he earned 664 votes, making him the least popular of the three Libertarian contenders.

Also, he received a formal censure from the Oklahoma Libertarian Party during his primary race. Following his incarceration in 2019, the state convention unanimously decided to strip him of his party affiliation.


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Joe Exotic | Net Worth

Joe Exotic was reported to have earned a significant amount of money from his zoo and from merchandise sales, but also had significant debts.

In a previous trademark case, Joe was mandated to pay Baskin a $1 million penalty. Baskin received ownership of his zoo assets as a result of the verdict. The ruling gave several vehicles and homes on the land to Baskin.

Currently, Joe Exotic is in prison, serving a 22-year sentence, and his net worth is negative $1 million.

Joe Exotic | Body Measurements

Joe Exotic has a slim body build. He stands at 5 feet 8 inches and weighs around 65 kg. He has hazel eyes and brown hair. His body measurements are estimated to be 40-34-16 inches.

Joe Exotic | Personal Life & Relationships

Joe, who is openly gay, has called several of his ex-partners “husbands” despite only getting married to one of them. In his early years, one of his brothers outed him as gay, and ever since, he has been extremely out about being gay, especially in a state like Oklahoma where conservatism is the norm. Brian Rhyne, Joe’s first known boyfriend, passed away in 2001 from HIV-related complications.

Later, he developed relationships with a number of zoo staff members, including John Finlay and Travis Maldonado. Within a month of Maldonado’s arrival at the zoo in 2013, the three had an informal wedding.

Due to a disagreement between Joe and Finlay, Joe was forced to legally wed just Maldonado. Maldonado shot himself in the head at the zoo in 2017. Joe married Dillon Passage in the same year. They were together until Passage started dating another man in 2021.

In addition to his challenges with love, Joe has struggled with a number of health issues throughout the years. Further, in 2021, he received a prostate cancer diagnosis while incarcerated. They sent him to the Federal Medical Center in North Carolina to receive medical attention.


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Legal Issues

In the early 2000s, Joe Exotic was cited for various violations of animal welfare laws, including failure to provide adequate veterinary care and failure to maintain safe and sanitary conditions. He also faced numerous lawsuits from former employees, as well as from animal rights organizations, which alleged mistreatment of animals and various forms of financial fraud.

In 2019, Joe Exotic was charged with two counts of murder-for-hire for attempting to hire someone to kill a rival animal rights activist, Carole Baskin, as well as for violating federal wildlife laws. He was arrested and later, in 2020, he was found guilty on all counts and was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison.

He was convicted of 17 federal charges, including two counts of murder-for-hire and eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act for killing tigers.

Joe Exotic has filed several appeals, but all of them have been denied and his conviction stands. He also filed a Presidential Pardon, but it was denied by the former president, Donald Trump.

Throughout his legal issues, Joe Exotic has maintained his innocence and has claimed that he was the victim of a government conspiracy. However, despite his claims, the evidence presented at his trial convinced the jury of his guilt.

Joe Exotic | Social Media

Instagram: 339K followers

Twitter: 59.2K followers

YouTube: 371K Subscribers

TikTok: 18.4K Followers

Quick Facts

  • Real Name/Full Name    Joseph Allen Schreibvogel
  • Nick Name/Celebrated Name:    Joe Exotic
  • Birth Place: Kansas, United States
  • Date Of Birth/Birthday:   5 March 1963
  • Age/How Old:    59 years old
  • Height/How Tall: In Centimetres – 172 cm In Feet and Inches – 5’8”
  • Weight: In Kilograms – 65 kg In Pounds – 143 lbs
  • Eye Color: Hazel
  • Hair Color: Brown
  • Parents Name:   Father – Francis Schreibvogel Mother – Shirley Schreibvogel
  • Siblings: Tamara, Pamela, Yarri, and Garold “G.W.” Wayne.
  • School:  Pilot Point High School
  • Nationality:  American
  • Zodiac Sign: Pisces
  • Gender: Male
  • Sexual Orientation: Gay
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Spouse Name: John Finlay (2003-2014), Travis Maldonado (m. 2015-2017), Dillon Passage (m. 2015, separated),
  • Profession: Media personality, businessman, politician, comedian, actor, country singer
  • Net Worth:  -$1 million


What is Joe Exotic’s net worth?

Joe Exotic has $1 million negative net worth.

How old is Joe Exotic?

Joe Exotic is 59 years old at the moment.

What name does Joe Exotic’s wife go by?

Joe Exotic is gay and currently single.




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Written by Aoife Jacobs

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