Depending on what state you live in, it can be completely legal to own a tiger, lion, or cougar without having to register it or have a special license. Cat People examines the strange relationships people have with big cats and the legal loopholes that have made America home to more captive tigers than there are left in the wild.
Netflix's "Tiger King" series may be the most popular documentary ever made. Sixty-four million people have seen it, and Joe Exotic is now a household name. Unfortunately, the show fails to explain what's actually happening with tigers living in the U.S., leaving out vital information while getting lots of other things wrong. In this special bonus episode, reporter Rachel Nuwer walks through exactly how the show misleads its viewers, and what "Tiger King's" massive popularity means for big cats.
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Joe Exotic, a self-described “gay, gun-carrying redneck with a mullet,” owned more tigers than anyone in the United States. He said that one of his guns was going to be used to kill Carole Baskin, who had been trying to shut him down for a decade. But instead of killing Carole, he hired a hitman to do it for him. And that decision may prove the undoing of not only the so-called Tiger King, but of the entire big cat industry.
If there is a solution to the big cat problem, it’s probably going to come from Big Cat Rescue, in Tampa, Florida. But what started as a facility to house exotic felines is now also an operation where owners Carole Baskin and her husband Howard work to change federal laws around cat ownership. And not everyone is happy about those changes.
Deb Pierce always dreamed of owning a lion and a cougar. Now she does. And they were surprisingly easy to get. But life as a big cat owner isn’t what she thought it would be. In this episode we look at the supply and demand for deadly feline predators, and what happens when those cute, cuddly kittens grow up.
In 2009, Terry Thompson set loose 18 tigers, 17 lions, three cougars, and numerous other animals on the town of Zanesville, Ohio. Then, he took his own life. Restoring order was a harrowing operation for law enforcement that made national headlines. But what many people don’t realize is that there are thousands of potentially deadly big cats living in American homes, basements, and backyards. Zanesville wasn't an isolated event, just the worst example of a growing problem.
Official trailer for Cat People, coming soon. Depending on what state you live in, it can be completely legal to own a tiger, lion, or cougar without having to register it or have a special license. Cat People examines the strange relationships people have with big cats and the legal loopholes that have made America home to more captive tigers than there are left in the wild.