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I-Team: Nevada’s troubled connection to Joe Exotic |

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I-Team: Nevada’s troubled connection to Joe Exotic

PAHRUMP, NEV. (KLAS) — The hit documentary series Tiger King is a wild ride filled with troubled characters, but it has helped focus public attention on the underground trade in exotic animals. The I-Team discovered that the star of the show, Joe Exotic, did a lot of business here in Nevada.

Tiger King focused mostly on the menagerie of soap opera characters surrounding the owner of a roadside zoo in Oklahoma. But it also touched on the shady network of those who deal in big cats, including lions and tigers.

Karl Mitchell (KLAS)

One of the most notorious of those is Karl Mitchell of Pahrump. Mitchell has been cited dozens of times for violating the most basic animal care standards. He had his license revoked by the federal government but still manages to make money off of the animals he keeps in his backyard.

“I’m always appalled whenever Karl Mitchell has anything with a heartbeat,” said animal welfare activist Linda Faso, “because of his history of neglect and abuse.”

Faso has shadowed Karl Mitchell for decades, and so has the I-Team. Including documenting Mitchell’s multiple arrests and alleged acts of animal cruelty. Now there is evidence linking Mitchell to the equally notorious Joe Exotic.

Mitchell returned to a federal courtroom just a few days ago, tonight on 8 News Now at 11, proof that Karl Mitchell bought his big cats from Joe Exotic.

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