Idaho Almost Had its Own Joe Exotic
We’re all obsessed with the Netflix documentary series, Tiger King, showcasing the life of former Presidential and Oklahoma Gubernatorial candidate, Joe Exotic who owned the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and was eventually put in prison for animal abuse and murder for hire in April 2018. He was big news in the state of Oklahoma, but until his life was featured in the on-demand streaming world, he wasn’t a household name anywhere else.
After watching the series on Netflix and seeing just how competitive the big cat space is in the United States and the narcissism that seems to accompany the people that run these attractions, it’s probably best that when the state of Idaho was approached by “Tiger Pete” to bring his tiger sanctuary here, they fought to keep him in Nevada.
The story isn’t very well-known but in 2008, Peter “Tiger Pete” Renzo tried to bring his S.A.B.R.E. (Siberians Are Becoming Rapidly Extinct) Foundation to Idaho. He wanted to build a “Tiger Pavilion” between Idaho Falls and Blackfoot where he would breed cats and perform live shows. Before he could move his five Siberian tigers, white Bengal tigers and black panther into the state he needed to get the proper permits. That’s when the Idaho Department of Agriculture stepped in.
After two years of court battles, the Idaho Supreme Court defended the Department of Agriculture’s decision that said his tigers would have to be spayed and neutered before crossing the state line, thus ending the possibility of having our very own Joe Exotic in Idaho.