TAMPA, Fla. — Big Cat Rescue CEO Carol Baskin says reports Joe Exotic has accepted help from her and her husband to get out of prison are "total nonsense."
In a statement sent to 10 Tampa Bay, Baskin says she and her husband suggested that if Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Schreibvogel, helped them get the Big Cat Public Safety Act passed they would advocate for his sentence to be reduced.
But, Baskin says that isn't the case.
She says instead of "doing the right thing" he has ranted against the bill and called for the two things the bill does to be rewritten.
Exotic told Entertainment Tonight that it was time for Carole and her husband to put up or shut up because he was accepting their offer. "And I'm gonna take it one step further than that, OK? It is time to get on the phone to President Biden or whoever they need to that they've got in their little financial pocket and say, 'Hey, Joe is willing to support a big cat bill to help protect cats in America from being exploited. But we need to keep our end of the deal and get Joe a pardon because this wasn't really about murder for hire or shooting five tigers -- this was about exploiting Joe to support Carole's agenda.' So, there's the offer on the table, all right?"
Exotic goes on to tell Entertainment Tonight he doesn't actually believe in the bill but would throw support behind it if that meant a shorter sentence.
Baskin says the people who have actually gotten pardoned have redeemed themselves by going good while either serving time or when they got out and if Exotic supported the bill he would be in that category of people.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act would ban the private ownership of big cats in the U.S.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act further amends the 1981 Lacey Act Amendments of the Captive Wildlife Safety Act. Specifically, the bill revises the trade of big cats such as lions, tigers, leopards and would further restrict terms of possessing and exhibiting big cats.
The bill allows for existing facilities to keep big cats but would further restrict direct contact between the public and the animals. In other words, organizations, such as Big Cat Rescue, that are categorized as wildlife conservation groups would be allowed to keep their animals.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act also doesn't prohibit the breeding of big cats so long as the facility has the proper license and ensures "the frequency of breeding is appropriate for the species."
Exotic is serving a 22-year sentence for a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin in 2017. He is also serving time for multiple wildlife law violations.
The feud between the two was a major plot point for Netflix's Tiger King.
What other people are reading right now:
- South Florida deputies told not to enforce 'anti-riot' law
- FHP: 1 passenger dead after car clocked at 111 mph crashes off I-4
- Florida to resume use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Sunday at FEMA sites
- FHP: Grandfather, 2-week-old baby ejected from car in deadly Gandy Boulevard crash
- Florida police officers charged with issuing dozens of bogus citations
►Breaking news and weather alerts: Get the free 10 Tampa Bay app
►Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter