The man known as “Tiger King,” who gained fame in a Netflix documentary following his conviction for trying to hire someone to kill an animal rights activist, says he has cancer.
“It is with a sad face that I have to tell you… that my prostate biopsy’s came back with an aggressive cancer,” Joe Exotic, who is being held at a federal US prison in Fort Worth, Texas, wrote in a Twitter post on Thursday.
The blond mullet-wearing former Oklahoma zookeeper, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is known for his expletive-laden rants on YouTube and a failed 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign.
He was prominently featured in the popular documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.
He was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2020 after being convicted for violating federal wildlife laws and a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting Carole Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida.
A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver in July ordered Maldonado-Passage be re-sentenced to a shorter term, finding that the trial court wrongly treated the two convictions separately in calculating his prison term.
The panel said his advisory sentencing range should be between 17 and a half years and just under 22 years, rather than between just under 22 years and 27 years in prison used by the trial court.
Maldonado-Passage wrote on Twitter for prayers and “the world to be my voice to be released,” saying there is no evidence he committed crimes.