‘Joe Exotic’ Is Behind Bars in PETA’s Halloween Costume

Preorder Now, and Be a 'Tiger Killer' This October

For Immediate Release:
May 8, 2020

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – It’s never too early to start planning for Halloween, so PETA—which went after “Joe Exotic” and moved the animals out of his decrepit roadside zoo—is now accepting preorders for its limited-edition “Tiger King Killer” costume. The costume comes with a blond mullet wig, a mustache, jail bars, an orange jumpsuit, and a plush pouncing tiger—and it will remind everyone who the true villain of Tiger King is: notorious tiger abuser Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage. The costume is available from the PETA Shop and will ship by July 31.

Tiger King has exposed tiger exhibitors as ghouls who steal cubs from their mothers, exploit them as living photo props, and then often discard or kill them when they grow up,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet, who appears in the docuseries. “This Halloween, PETA will poke some pointed fun at a tiger killer who belongs behind bars, where he can no longer harm a hair on any animal’s head.”

Tiger King features a slew of animal exhibitors—including Maldonado-Passage, Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, Tim Stark, and Jeff Lowe—who breed animals for profit, separate babies from their mothers, and deprive them of everything that’s natural and important to them. Many have criminal rap sheets and/or lengthy histories of federal Animal Welfare Act violations—but they still operate.

PETA has been working for years to shut down facilities like theirs. The group rescued nearly 50 animals from Maldonado-Passage’s custody, all of whom are thriving at reputable sanctuaries, and filed two lawsuits against facilities that acquired big-cat cubs from him. PETA recently prevailed in one of these lawsuits, and the last six tigers held at a roadside zoo called Dade City’s Wild Things arrived at an accredited sanctuary in early April. The order in that case held that prematurely separating tiger cubs from their mothers and using them in public encounters violates the federal Endangered Species Act.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind