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Tiger King hero Saff reveals what Joe Exotic is really like - 'A lot of things weren't shown'

Saff worked at Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Memorial Park.

Tiger King
Published: Sunday, 2nd August 2020 at 12:35 pm

Netflix's documentary Tiger King was a huge phenomenon over the lock down period, with millions tuning in to watch the wild true-crime show which follows the live of Big Cat Owner Joe Exotic and his nemesis Carole Baskin.


The series has got fans asking whether there'll be a series two and Tiger King’s Jeff Lowe has revealed a spin-off to the series is in "pre-production."

Saff Saffrey became a grounding voice on the series, after his arm was torn off by a tiger while working at Joe's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Memorial Park.

The star has now spoken out about life after the show, revealing what Joe Exotic - who is currently serving a 22-year sentence at Grady County Jail in Oklahoma for plotting to kill Carole, and for acts of animal cruelty - was really like.

"What you guys saw, that was Joe Exotic at his finest," he explained to Pink News. "But there are a lot of things that were not shown."

He continued: "He used to put on these beautiful dinners every single Thanksgiving at the farm for people to come and have a hot, wonderful home-cooked Thanksgiving meal for free."

When asked if the show depicted him and the other cast, which includes Baskin, Jeff Lowe and Doc Antle - correctly, he replied: "Yes, definitely! As far as our personalities and characteristics, yes, that was pretty spot on."

He added: "But there’s always more to every person’s story. What is shown within a few hours, that’s just wrapped up in a nutshell. On my behalf, there’s so much more to me than what you guys saw on camera. I have made my mistakes and I’ve had my struggles and my hardships."

Tiger King's Saff
Saff worked at Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Memorial Park. Netflix

Saff has previously spoken about quitting the zoo and getting a more "clock-in, clock-out job", but does he miss the antics of working at Joe's park?

"I miss them every single day. I miss the work that I used to do with them – being in their presence because that was a blessing in itself. But I think that when I was focused on these animals, it was with only me in consideration."

One of the episodes on the Netflix documentary showed Saff losing his arm after interacting with tigers.


While he admits he "misses" his arm, he has no regrets, saying: "I don’t know if I would have done anything differently. The way that I worked with those animals as far as protocols and whatnot was second nature. And that, in the end, was my demise. That is what ended up me losing my left hand."

Tiger King is available to watch on Netflix now. To find out what else is on, check out our TV Guide.

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