Photo: Instagram

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness on Netflix has become our latest obsession while we all practice social distancing. The docuseries binge-watchers want to know everything possible about Joe Exotic. Some curious viewers noticed that Joe sports a knee brace in his interviews and want to know what happened to his knee. Besides having a diverse career portfolio, Joe Exotic has also had multiple health issues. We’ve got a primer on Joe Exotic’s health to explain his knee injury.

Joe Exotic Was Injured in a Car Accident

Inspired by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential rise, Joe Exotic ran for president too that same year with no success. That wasn’t the end of his political ambitions though. He joined the Oklahoma gubernatorial race as a Libertarian candidate in 2018. However, he was injured in an accident during campaign season.

In January 2018, Joe was driving his Dodge pickup when he got into a two-vehicle accident. The two passengers in the other vehicle didn’t suffer many injuries, but Joe wasn’t as fortunate.

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He was taken to a hospital in stable condition, but had suffered head, internal, external, and leg injuries. He was, however, not in a critical state.

His camp shared a picture of Joe in the hospital, looking the worse for wear in a neck brace. The post was captioned, “We appreciate all of your concerns and prayers. Joe is doing fine, he’s pretty banged up but we will make it through this.”

It’s unknown if the accident has caused some lifelong physical damage to Joe. The exact nature of his injuries were not revealed. It’s speculated that he wears a knee brace because of the leg injury he suffered in the 2018 accident.

Note that Joe Exotic has a long history of injuries. Before he was a zookeeper and big cat breeder, he was injured in another accident decades ago.

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Before he started his zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, Joe was a cop in Eastvale, Texas.

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In 1985, his sibling outed him as gay to their father and he was disowned. A devastated Joe went on to attempt suicide by driving his police cruiser off a bridge.

He survived the crash with serious injuries, undergoing months of physical therapy in Florida.

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But here’s the catch. As over the top as Joe Exotic’s known to be, bits of his life story are not verifiable. Often the source of these events in his life is Joe himself.

Given the degree of injuries he claims to have suffered, his family or locals probably would have known if a local cop was in a car crash. But neither his family or Eastvale residents have any memory of the crash, though Joe allegedly has a photograph of his demolished car. If that crash has resulted in lifelong injuries for Joe, it’s not confirmed.

Joe Gave a Health Update About Himself

In late 2014, Joe Exotic claimed he was the subject of a fictitious news report propagated by animal rights activists. According to Joe, activists alleged he was suffering from tuberculosis and brucellosis and was endangering employees and animals at his zoo with his condition.

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Joe Exotic had become something of a self-made reality star by then with his own YouTube channel. When false news about his health began spreading, he opened the 2015 new year with a video rebuttal about his health.

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Joe said that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014 and got surgery for it. While the surgery was successful, he became septic and his liver and kidneys shut down. He had to spend 10 days in the ICU and another six days in a private room.

Soon after, he was diagnosed with an immune deficiency disease, CVID. Joe explained that the condition is treatable with infusions every four weeks.

Joe said he never had tuberculosis as the news reports claimed. He went through a battery of tests in the hospital, including for tuberculosis. But he was not positively diagnosed with it.

The Tiger King claimed that if he’d indeed had an infectious disease, he wouldn’t be allowed out of the hospital. He alleged that the animal rights activists were spreading the made-up news to hurt his zoo’s business.

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