Stars of Netflix’s Tiger King, are speaking out against former zookeeper and employer, Joseph Maldonado-Passage (aka Joe Exotic). Kelci “Saff” Saffery, worked at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma even after a tiger attack ended with an amputated arm. He remains dedicated to the animals even after leaving. Here’s why Saffery said Maldonado-Passage is worse than you might think.
Saffery said Maldonado-Passage ‘had no remorse’ killing animals
Regardless of which side of the Tiger King debate you stand, former employee, Saffery, has an insider’s look at the real Maldonado-Passage.
“A ‘monster’ is a relative term. And Joe fits the bill,” Saffery told Nancy Grace via Fox Nation’s A Tiger King Investigation.
Saffery explained his former boss’s motive in breeding tigers to sell the offspring — an illegal practice — came from greed. Once grown, the tigers were no longer needed. Saffrey said Maldonado-Passage “shot them — an estimated 100 animals over 10 years — without remorse.”
“It never phased him. It was something he did and then went on with his day,” he said. “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.”
Grace asked Saffery if the employees’ job included encouraging animals to the side of the cage to make Maldonado-Passage’s shot easier.
“That’s true,” Saffery 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.”
He added, “I was a part of the problem,” saying, “I knew it was going on.”
How Maldonado-Passage was able to retrieve cubs from
Some of Tiger King showed Maldonado-Passage pulling a newborn cub from its mother after she gave birth. Saffrey said, “Joe Exotic” used tranquilizers on the big cats. This made taking the cubs easier.
“Joe wanted those babies,” Saffery said. “He bred those tigers for a reason. He wanted those babies away from their mom. And if you can imagine anyone trying to take your babies away from you and how you would react — imagine that in a 400-pound tiger.”
Grace asked if there was ever a concern over breaking the law in selling those cubs.
“Obviously, as we can tell where he sits right now, I don’t think he thought the law applied to him,” Saffrey said.
More people could be arrested, according to Saffery
Maldonado-Passage is serving a 22-year sentence. He was convicted with orchestrating an alleged murder-for-hire plot against Big Cat Rescue owner, Carole Baskin. That aside, he was also found guilty of violating the Endangered Species act for killing five tigers in 2017.
Maldonado-Passage’s story bringing illegal practices to light. Will others face consequences for doing the same? Saffery thinks the web of connections can easily be unraveled if law enforcement decides to look into it.
“I’m sure if they dig deep enough, they’re going to find a lot more players in this,” Saffery said. “Yes. I mean, the entire animal industry is connected.”
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is available on Netflix.
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