An Oklahoma big-cat breeder known as “Joe Exotic” was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Wednesday for hiring a hitman to murder someone, killing five tigers, and selling tiger cubs. According to news staton KOCO, Joseph Maldonado-Passage was convicted of trying to kill Florida animal-rights activist Carole Baskin after he hired an undercover FBI agent posing as a hitman in 2017. He was also charged with killing five tigers in late 2017, and offering to sell tiger cubs. Maldonado-Passage allegedly killed the tigers to make room for other big cats, and he told KOCO he killed the animals because “they were in pain.” “They had toenails coming out of their ankles. They had no teeth. They had exposed root canals,” he said. Maldonado-Passage operated an exotic animal park, ran for president in 2016, and ran in the state’s gubernatorial race in 2018.
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