Tyson was one of the 64 million viewers around the world who watched the bizarre Netflix docuseries about ex-zookeeper and tiger collector Joe Exotic — now in prison for a murder-for-hire plot and federal wildlife violations. The former boxing champ told the Daily Mail there is a possibility that his tigers — Kenya, Storm and Boris — whom he bought after he came out of jail in the early 1990s — came from Exotic.
“It could have been, maybe where I got my cats could have got their cats from Joe. But I don’t know,” Tyson told the paper. “If you are in the exotic animal world, you are aware of him.”
But whether or not Exotic sold him his cats, Tyson is still a fan, telling the paper “People always say these people are scumbags. But these are amazing people with what they can do with their ingenious minds and control over other people’s minds. These guys are born leaders.”
Tyson lost his tigers along with his fortune in the late 1990s and has since expressed regret over his ‘foolish’ decision to own tigers — telling Fat Joe in an Instagram Live, “I was foolish. There’s no way you can domesticate these cats 100 percent … There’s no way that’s going to happen. They’ll kill you by accident, especially when you’re playing rough with them, you’re punching them back. They get hyped up, hit you back and you’re dead.”
“I’m just happy I educated myself. I was doing the wrong s–t. I shouldn’t have had them in my house, believing they were domesticated. I was wrong.”
While talking to Fat Joe, Tyson also recalled having to pay a woman $250,000 after one of his tigers tore up the woman’s hand.
“Somebody jumped over my fence where the tiger was and started playing with the tiger,” Tyson told Fat Joe. “The tiger didn’t know the lady so it was a bad accident. She jumped into the property where the tiger was.”