Mullet; eyebrow piercing; tight trousers; these are the details by which we’ve come to recognise Joe Exotic, but his childhood photos prove he hasn’t always sported his now-iconic look.
The former zookeeper’s dreams came true when he was thrust into the spotlight in the Netflix docu-series Tiger King last year, with viewers given an insight into his life at the GW Zoo in Oklahoma where he worked with and lived alongside hundreds of big cats.
Exotic was regularly seen sporting a baseball cap in the series, as well as a fringe jacket, tight denim jeans, a large belt, a blonde mullet and a moustache. His look was, for lack of a better word, unique, and following the release of the series he inspired a multitude of Halloween costumes and fancy-dress outfits.
Fans of the show are able to delve even further into Exotic’s life in the newly released second series of Tiger King, which arrived on Netflix today, November 17, and introduces us to Exotic’s brother, Yarri Schreibvogel.
Schreibvogel discusses memories of his brother, recalling how he ‘used to walk around with a damn BB gun, shooting stuff’, with viewers taken back to Exotic’s childhood with old family photos and what appear to be home videos.
Though it’s hard to imagine him any different, images from the show prove Exotic didn’t actually come out of the womb with a moustache and mullet, and instead sported a much more even blonde haircut throughout his childhood and teenage years.
Images show the former zookeeper as a happy-looking child as he smiles in images, though Exotic’s own accounts of his childhood, featured alongside the throwback photos, paint a different picture.
Episode one of the new series touches on Exotic’s life before he became a zookeeper; the experiences he had with his family and details of how he spent time in the police academy in a bid to become a police chief.
The childhood images and details of Exotic’s young life kick off a wealth of new information revealed in the second season after Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison for a murder-for-hire plot against animal rights activist Carole Baskin.
Tiger King 2 is available to stream on Netflix now.
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