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Dublin: 18°C Thursday 17 June 2021

Your evening longread: The strange and dangerous world of big cat breeding in the USA

It’s a coronavirus-free zone as we bring you an interesting longread each evening to take your mind off the news.

Joe Exotic from the trailer to Tiger King
Joe Exotic from the trailer to Tiger King
Image: Netflix/YouTube

EVERY WEEK, WE bring you a round-up of the best longreads of the past seven days in Sitdown Sunday.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you an evening longread to enjoy. With the news cycle dominated by the coronavirus situation, we know it can be hard to take your mind off what’s happening.

So we want to bring you an interesting read every weekday evening to help transport you somewhere else.

We’ll be keeping an eye on new longreads and digging back into the archives for some classics.

Big cat breeding

The Netflix documentary series Tiger King is very popular at the moment – so here’s a wider read about big cat breeders in the US.

(Longreads.com, approx 28 mins reading time)

Animal rights activists have been pushing for decades to curb big cat ownership in this country, arguing that the industry is cruel, dangerous, and detrimental to conservation of cats in the wild. Now, reform appears within reach. The movement owes its momentum to, of all things, a murder-for-hire plot gone terribly awry. You might have seen the headlines in the Washington Post and New York magazine: Joe Exotic, a self-described “gay, gun-carrying redneck with a mullet,” among the largest tiger owners and breeders in the U.S., charged with conspiring to commit murder for hire. At its height, Joe’s zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, which is where I visited Nova, housed more than 200 big cats, including lion-tiger hybrids, as well as about 60 other species, everything from lemurs to owls to giraffes. Joe even acquired a pair of alligators he claimed were once owned by Michael Jackson. 

Read all of the Evening Longreads here>

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