8 True Crime Animal Stories to Feed Your ‘Tiger King’ Fix
If you saw Netflix’s Tiger King, then you know the world of exotic animals can be pretty wild. The show is like an episode of The Trailer Park Boys plus murder and minus 50 IQ points. Above all, this 2020 true-crime docuseries explores the feud between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin. However, both big cat collectors come out looking like egomaniacal morons. It has utterly captivated our locked-down nation. The show is one of Netflix’s most successful original productions ever.
If you already finished the series but are still stuck in the house, we got you covered. Our bizarre menagerie will inspire the same awe and disgust as the recent Netflix hit. We have the stories of a feline mastermind, a cephalopod escape artist, and even more animal hijinks. Here are eight animal tales to satisfy your Tiger King craving.
Cover Photo: Netflix
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A Teenage Arsonist Tortoise
In 2017, a 15-year-old tortoise named Bits was accused of starting a fire in San Antonio that caused around $150K in damages. The pyromaniac reptile kicked over his heating lamp, but luckily no one — including Bits — died in the flames.
The Cat Made Me Do It
When James Shroyer was arrested for robbing a bank in 2013, he offered a novel if ineffective defense: the cat made me do it. According to Vintage News, Shroyer claimed his cat told him to rob the bank, though authorities failed to charge the feline mastermind.
A Real Parasite of a Roommate
By day, Eric Kranz was a parasite researcher at MacDonald College in Quebec and, at night, he was a parasite of a roommate. When his flatmates finally gave him the boot, they allege he poisoned them with a nasty worm that lives in pig intestines. Plus he never did the dishes.
Shoplifting With a Beak
A seagull in Scotland showed us that the key to successfully shoplifting is to act natural. The serial offender was known to casually waddle into a minimart where it grabbed food off the shelf with its beak, but the locals found it so funny they often payed for the nipped treats.
An Eight-Armed Houdini
An octopus named Inky staged a jail break from the National Aquarium of New Zealand in 2016. Not only did the daredevil cephalopod climb out of his tank, but he also squeezed through a pipe and made it the ocean, showing himself to be a real aquatic Andy Dufresne.
Very Bad Meat
Demand in China and other countries for endangered animal parts incorrectly thought to cure everything from erectile dysfunction to demonic possession is out of control. Sadly, rhinoceroses, sea turtles and many other creatures are being driven to extinction to feed this cruel and pointless practice.
A Smoking Solider Bear
Polish soldiers traveling through Iraq during World War II adopted a Syrian brown bear named Wojtek who liked to smoke cigarettes, drink and wrestle. The bear was eventually enlisted as a soldier, becoming a hero by transporting ammunition during battles before retiring to the Edinburgh Zoo.
Feathered Security Guards
Wineries in California and elsewhere lose millions of dollars’ worth of grapes every year to bird bandits. They’ve started fighting feathers with feathers by having trained falcons and other raptors play zone defense, keeping us all drunk and happy.