Change Region...

Discovery Press Web United States

Animal Planet

Choose Network...



Image 1 / 1

The story behind Joe Exotic and the infamous G.W. Zoo left the audiences stunned as allegations of lies & deception came to light with uncovered wildlife violations at the center. In an all-new Animal Planet documentary special featuring one of Joe Exotic’s last formal interviews before his arrest, viewers will follow the emotional stories of animals that made it out of the zoo for a second chance at life, and hear from ex-employees, including Saff Saffery - who lost an arm to one of Joe’s tigers - rescue leaders, exotic animal experts, and others with firsthand knowledge of the animal trafficking and breeding that fueled Joe Exotic’s empire. Paired with never-before-seen footage of Joe filmed for Animal Planet’s Wolves and Warriors in 2018, audiences will witness the stories of animals who were caught in the crossfire of Joe Exotic’s big cat breeding business, and the heartwarming stories of those that found new homes after the G.W. Zoo. SURVIVING JOE EXOTIC premieres on Animal Planet Saturday, July 25 at 10PM ET/PT.

In 2018, Animal Planet’s Wolves and Warriors film crew was given access to the G.W. Zoo and an inside look at Joe Exotic’s operations; from his stage show, the interactive tour, as well as never-before-seen interview footage of Joe. SURVIVING JOE EXOTIC features this exclusive interview footage of Joe from 2018 paired with all-new firsthand revelations from staff who worked side-by-side with Joe, including former employee Gaylynn Eastwood and former manager Saff Saffery. Both reveal new details about Joe’s breeding business, his behind-the-scenes treatment of the animals at the G.W. Zoo, and his dangerous dealings of trading in exotic animals.  

Animal Planet audiences will also follow the touching and inspiring journeys of the animals who survived from under the direct care of Joe Exotic. We’ll meet Kryxis and Kadira, two visually impaired tiger littermates whose vision was restored after their rescue from the G.W. Zoo through surgery at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Indiana; and Chobe and Kariba, two lions found traumatized by the pain of inbreeding and spending their lifetimes in a small enclosure, who are relocated to Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary in Oregon where they can step on cool grass. We’ll follow these stories of hope and learn more about what’s next for the innocent animals who were caught in the endless cycle of neglect and mistreatment that exists in the world of big cat and exotics trade.  

In addition to watching the documentary special on Animal Planet, viewers can join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #SurvivingJoeExotic and following ANIMAL PLANET on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

SURVIVING JOE EXOTIC is produced for Animal Planet by ITV America’s Leftfield Pictures, in association with Luce Change Inc. Gretchen Palek, Shawn Witt, Dave Luce and Karen Kunkel Young serve as executive producers. For Animal Planet, Keith Hoffman is executive producer and Sarah Russell is supervising producer.


About Leftfield Pictures

Leftfield Pictures, an ITV America company, produces an array of projects for broadcast, cable and streaming platforms. Helmed by Co-Presidents Gretchen Palek and Shawn Witt, Leftfield series and specials – in addition to Animal Planet’s Surviving Joe Exotic – include HISTORY franchises AlonePawn StarsForged in Fire and Counting Cars; Quibi’s Let’s Roll with Tony Greenhand; Snapchat’s The Honeybeez of ASU; OWN’s The Book of John Gray; and ESPN’s award-winning “30 for 30” Year of the Scab; as well as other upcoming projects for networks including A&E, Discovery, CNBC and Paramount Network, among others.

About Animal Planet 

Animal Planet, one of Discovery, Inc.’s great global brands, is dedicated to creating high quality content with global appeal delivering on its mission to keep the childhood joy and wonder of animals alive by bringing people up close in every way. Available to 360 million homes in more than 205 countries and territories, Animal Planet combines content that explores the undeniable bonds forged between animals and humans, optimized across all screens around the world. In the U.S., Animal Planet audiences can enjoy their favorite programming anytime, anywhere through the Animal Planet Go app which features live and on-demand access. For more information, please visit

 About Discovery

Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player and MotorTrend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media; a landmark natural history and factual content partnership with the BBC; and a strategic alliance with PGA TOUR to create the international home of golf. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, and Science Channel, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.