Netflix’s new documentary series Tiger King uses images of Tampa Bay Times newspaper headlines to tell the tale of Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and the fights, crimes and eccentricities of various “animal people,” especially those in the big cat world.
We’ve rounded up some of our previous coverage of people who were featured in the true crime series, filmed partly in Tampa, so you can read deeper on the history.
Here are some stories from the archives about Baskin’s Tampa sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue, and other local characters like animal trapper Vernon Yates, starting with the stories relating to the Joe Exotic murder-for-hire case and working back through time.
Keep in mind that Big Cat Rescue was once called Wildlife on Easy Street, and Carole Baskin was known as Carole Lewis.
Joe Exotic’s plot against Carole Baskin
Carole Baskin and Don Lewis’ disappearance
March 26, 2020: Carole Baskin says 'Tiger King’ doc is full of lies
Aug. 23, 1998: Mysterious millionaire still missing
July 3, 1998: Benefit is planned for crippled lion
Oct. 18, 1997: Trail of missing millionaire is all dead ends
Sept. 19, 1997: Missing millionaire worries family
Sept. 18, 1997: Missing millionaire may be in Costa Rica
Aug. 27, 1997: Animal sanctuary owner is reported missing
Joe Exotic’s connection to Dade City’s Wild Things
Stories featuring Big Cat Rescue
Sept. 23, 2013: Reise, an 18-year-old cougar, latest addition to Big Cat Rescue
Dec. 16, 2006: Cuddly pet or wild animal
Aug. 27, 2005: Big cats get to expand den
Vernon Yates, animal trapper featured in ‘Tiger King’
Oct. 24, 2012: Animal control workers capture Tampa Bay’s Mystery Monkey