Tiger King explores the world of big cat owners in America. It centres on Joe Exotic, proprietor of an Oklahoma roadside zoo, who is a “mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country and western singer,” per Netflix’s description of the docuseries.
Things turn dark after animal activist Carole Baskin, owner of a big cat sanctuary, tries to shut down the big-cat breeders, leading to Joe Exotic’s arrest in connection with a murder-for-hire plot.
Exotoc is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for 17 counts of animal cruelty and for conspiring to murder Baskin.
According to Putman, Exotic also allegedly froze dead tiger cubs in order to sell them to taxidermists and had videos of people performing sex acts on animals at the zoo.
Putman did odd jobs for Joe - cleaning the animal cages, running the cash register and bookkeeping - working on and off for Joe from 1999 until 2017 when he owned the zoo.
'Our relationship was up and down, mainly because I wouldn't put up with his bulls**t'.
Putman said: 'I've personally witnessed Joe spray a tiger with a fire extinguisher, not out of a safety or for a life saving reason, but because the tiger didn't react the way Joe had wanted it to.'
Joe also sold countless baby tigers illegally, too many to count according to Putman.
'He would either take cash under the table for the sale of the tiger or if someone sent a check, it would be made out to another person, or if the money was wired to a store, it would be in another person's name.
She also claims that when a tiger cub died he would freeze them, claiming he was helping with Texas A&M University’s research, however she suspects he secretly sold them on to individuals who wished to own stuffed tigers.
Putman also claims there were videos of certain people performing sex acts on some of the animals at the zoo.
'I didn't want to see them, I just heard about them,’ she said.