All the while, his petting business at the zoo continued to grow, and the breeding expanded. Breeding big cats was one thing, but Joe became notorious for breeding hybrids of ligers – the offspring of a lion and a tiger – of different kinds. At the same time, the Tiger King was involved in buying and selling of tigers. Inbreeding tigers can cause birth defects and health issues, but unfortunately, it’s a common practice among big cat owners around the world.
Due to breeding and exotic animal trafficking, there are currently more tigers living in backyards across the U.S. than in the wild. That’s where organizations like PETA, or individuals – like Carole Baskin – come into the picture. Although many would claim, after watching the show, that what Baskin does ins’t much different than Joe’s business, she begs to differ.