Mauled ‘Tiger King’ Employee Says Joe Exotic Is A ‘Monster’
Kelci “Saff’ Saffery, who became famous after being mauled and losing an arm on the Netflix series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, is speaking out about his former boss.
While speaking with Fox News host Nancy Grace, Saffery chatted about the animal cruelty he witnessed at the hand of Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage.
“A ‘monster’ is a relative term. And Joe fits the bill,” he said.
Saffrey worked with Exotic at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park for years, and he claims that his former employer was motivated by greed. This meant that the welfare of the animals he was caring for wasn’t the top priority.
Indeed, Exotic illegally bred tigers to sell, and if he couldn’t sell them, Saffrey said that Exotic would kill them. He claims that Exotic shot approximately 100 big cats in the 10 years that he worked there, and the former zookeeper says that killing the animals didn’t phase Exotic.
“It was something he did and then went on with his day. If you didn’t hear the gunshot or if you didn’t see the gun, you would have never [known] what happened until you realize that Tiger is missing,” Saffery says.
Grace asked if Saffery was ever tasked with moving the cats to an area where Exotic could shoot them.
“That’s true,” Saffrey said. “I mean, he could never get them to the side of the cage no matter how hard he tried. So, yeah, it’s true that that was asked of the employees. I never did it.”
But that doesn’t mean he thinks he didn’t play a part in the park’s problems. Saffery says that he was present in the park and knew what was happening.
Saffery also admitted that Exotic would use tranquilizers in order to calm female tigers enough so that he could take away their cubs to sell.
“He wanted those babies away from their mom,” he said, and a large tiger could be dangerous to anyone trying to remove its offspring.
Saffery says that Exotic didn’t believe in following the law, as evidenced by the fact that he was convicted on nine violations of the Endangered Species Act. Exotic was also convicted of attempting to hire someone to kill his rival, Carole Baskin.
Saffery also suggested that he wouldn’t be surprised to see more charges brought against Exotic in the future, along with evidence about other people who may be involved.
The former zoo staffer isn’t the only one to criticize Exotic’s behavior behind-the-scenes. His niece recently told reporters that he was even worse off-camera.