Was Joe Exotic pardoned? Did the Tiger King receive a pardon from Donald Trump - and why he is in prison

Anticipating a pardon, Joe Exotic’s friends had organised for a limousine to pick him up from a Texas prison
Joe Exotic is currently serving a 22 year prison sentence (Netflix)Joe Exotic is currently serving a 22 year prison sentence (Netflix)
Joe Exotic is currently serving a 22 year prison sentence (Netflix)

During his final full day as US president, Donald Trump issued pardons for 143 people.

Those pardoned ranged from allies of the US president, such as Steve Bannon, to famous rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black.

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Joe Exotic, also known as the Tiger King, was among those waiting expectantly for a presidential pardon from the one-term president.

The incarcerated zoo operator reportedly claimed to have a limousine waiting near his prison in anticipation of the news, and has previously formally requested a presidential pardon.

Private investigator Eric Love who is leading Exotic’s case told Metro: “We’re going to be celebrating.”

“We have good reason to believe it will come through. We’re confident enough we already have a limousine parked about half a mile from the prison. We are really in action mode right now.”

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Quiz: Who said it - Donald Trump or Joe Exotic?

Did Donald Trump pardon Joe Exotic?

Joe Exotic did not receive a pardon from the outgoing president.

Eric Love had earlier told BBC “We are 100% sure that today is our day”.

But on Tuesday night at 5pm local time, Love tweeted: “We are still waiting on the pardon”.

He maintained his optimism, tweeting in response to a follower: “Trust me....... I have done 219 interviews today. Saving the best for last.”

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Donald Trump has previously joked that he’ll “take a look” at pardoning the former exotic animal trader.

Why is Joe Exotic in prison?

In 2019 Exotic was convicted of 17 federal charges of animal abuse and plotting to have animal rights activist Carole Baskin murdered.

Baskin and Exotic were locked in a long-running feud over the latter’s alleged mistreatment of animals.

Who did Donald Trump pardon?

The following people were issued with a pardon by Donald Trump on his final day in office:

Steve Bannon

Elliott Broidy

Kwame Kilpatrick

Lil Wayne

Kodak Black

Sholam Weiss

Anthony Levandowski

Todd Boulanger


Abel Holtz

Rick Renzi

Kenneth Kurson

Casey Urlacher

Carl Andrews Boggs

Dr Scott Harkonen

Johnny D Phillips Jr

Dr Mahmoud Reza Banki

James E Johnson Jr

Tommaso Buti

Glen Moss

Aviem Sella

John Nystrom

Scott Conor Crosby

Lynn Barney

Joshua J Smith

Amy Povah

Dr Frederick Nahas

David Tamman

Dr Faustino Bernadett


Paul Erickson

Gregory Jorgensen, Deborah Jorgensen, Martin Jorgensen (posthumous)

Todd Farha

Thaddeus Bereday

William Kale

Paul Behrens

Peter Clay

Patrick Lee Swisher

Robert Sherrill

Dr Robert S Corkern

David Lamar Clanton

George Gilmore

Desiree Perez

Robert “Bob” Zangrillo

Hillel Nahmad

Brian McSwain

John Duncan Fordham

William “Ed” Henry

Randall “Duke” Cunningham – conditional pardon

Stephen Odzer

Steven Benjamin Floyd

Joey Hancock

David E Miller

James Austin Hayes

Drew Brownstein

Robert Bowker

Amir Khan

David Rowland

Jessica Frease

Robert Cannon “Robin” Hayes

Thomas Kenton “Ken” Ford

Michael Liberty


Greg Reyes

Ferrell Damon Scott

Jerry Donnell Walden

Jeffrey Alan Conway

Benedict Olberding

Syrita Steib-Martin

Michael Ashley

Lou Hobbs

Matthew Antoine Canady

Mario Claiborne

Rodney Nakia Gibson

Tom Leroy Whitehurst

Monstsho Eugene Vernon

Luis Fernando Sicard

DeWayne Phelps

Isaac Nelson

Traie Tavares Kelly

Javier Gonzales

Douglas Jemal

Eric Wesley Patton

Robert William Cawthon

Hal Knudson Mergler

Gary Evan Hendler

John Harold Wall

Steven Samuel Grantham

Clarence Olin Freeman

Fred Keith Alford

John Knock


Kenneth Charles Fragoso

Luis Gonzalez

Anthony DeJohn

Corvain Cooper

Way Quoe Long

Michael Pelletier

Craig Cesal

Darrell Frazier

Lavonne Roach

Blanca Virgen

Robert Francis

Brian Simmons

Derrick Smith

Jaime A Davidson

Raymond Hersman

David Barren

James Romans

Jonathon Braun

Michael Harris

Kyle Kimoto

Chalana McFarland

Eliyahu Weinstein

John Estin Davis

Alex Adjmi

Noah Kleinman

Tena Logan

MaryAnne Locke

Jawad A Musa

Adriana Shayota

April Coots

Caroline Yeats

Jodi Lynn Richter

Kristina Bohnenkamp

Mary Roberts

Cassandra Ann Kasowski

Lerna Lea Paulson

Ann Butler

Sydney Navarro

Tara Perry

Jon Harder

Chris Young

Adrianne Miller

Fred “Dave” Clark

William Walters

James Brian Cruz

Salomon Melgen

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