Tiger King’s Joe Exotic transferred to medical centre after cancer diagnosis

The former Oklahoma zookeeper known as Tiger King, made famous through a Netflix documentary series, was moved to a federal prison medical facility after diagnosed with cancer, according to his attorney.

Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was flown by plane from a federal hospital in the state of Texas to a federal hospital in North Carolina late Tuesday or early Wednesday, defense attorney John Phillips said in a statement.

Mr Phillips, who tweeted his statement on Saturday, said the transfer was originally scheduled for later this month.

Mr Phillips said Maldonado Passage told him he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was getting medical treatment and tests for “a variety of problems”.

The lawyer said medical care in the prison was “not the best and the judiciary is slow”.

“It’s a competition of life and freedom that nobody wants anything in,” he added.

In July, a federal appeals court ruled that Maldonado-Passage should receive a shorter sentence for its role in an assassination attempt and for violating federal wildlife laws.

He was sentenced to 22 years federal prison in January 2020 after attempting to hire two different men to kill Florida animal rights activist Carole Baskin.

A three-judge panel of the US 10th Court of Appeals in Denver found that the court incorrectly treated these two convictions separately when calculating its sentence under the sentencing guidelines.

The appeals court said his advisory sentence should be between 17 and a half years and just under 22 years, and not between just under 22 years and 27 years in prison, as the court had calculated.

Maldonado Passage and its blonde mullet were featured in the Netflix documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

Meanwhile, Ms. Baskin of Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary lost her efforts to prevent Netflix and a production company from using previously recorded videos of her and her husband in the sequel to Tiger King.

A federal judge issued a recommendation on Friday denying the Baskins’ offer to block the use of the footage.

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