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Joe Exotic of ‘Tiger King’ in quarantine after transferring to prison medical center, his husband says

Joe Maldonado-Passage answers a question during a 2013 interview at the zoo he runs in Wynnewood, Okla. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)
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Joe Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic from Netflix’s hit “Tiger King,” is in quarantine after being transferred to a different prison, according to his husband.

Maldonado-Passage, 57, who became an overnight sensation when the docuseries about big-cat zoos debuted two weeks ago, is serving a 22-year sentence after a jury found him guilty of a murder-for-hire plot against his nemesis, Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin. (He says he was framed.) He was also charged with multiple wildlife violations, including the killing of five tigers.

Prison records show Maldonado-Passage has been transferred to FMC Fort Worth in Texas, a medical center in the Federal Bureau of Prisons system. Previously, he was being held at the Grady County jail in Chickasha, Okla., not far from where he ran his roadside tiger zoo, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park.

In an interview on Andy Cohen’s Sirius XM radio show Wednesday, Maldonado-Passage’s husband, Dillon Passage, said he was told “they are putting him on a covid-19 isolation because of the previous jail he was at, there were cases.” He said he normally speaks to his husband three to five times a day but hasn’t spoken to him since he was moved last week.

“Wow, so Joe Exotic is in his own covid-19 quarantine right now?” Cohen asked.

“From what I know, yes,” Passage said. “That’s just what people have told me.”

However, a staffer at the Grady County jail said while it’s correct Maldonado-Passage was transferred, the jail does not have confirmed cases of covid-19. “We do not have, at this time, any positive cases of coronavirus at this facility,” the staffer said.

A representative for FMC Fort Worth did not return a request for comment.

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