Joe Exotic Faces Potential Cancer Battle Again While in Prison

 April 22, 2024

Joe Exotic, known from the "Tiger King" saga, faces grave health concerns anew.

Joe Exotic, at age 61, might be confronting lung cancer once more while incarcerated in Florida.

According to Daily Mail, Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, battled prostate cancer in 2021 and seemed to have emerged victorious. Now, a routine scan has unveiled a worrying abnormality in his lung. He has a history of heavy smoking, spanning over four decades, which exacerbates his situation.

The first sign of trouble appeared last October when Exotic mentioned something concerning was detected on his left lung in X-rays.

While held in Santa Rosa County jail, he discussed his subsequent medical steps. He had a CT scan in January, followed by a PET scan the Friday before his transfer, which was to confirm the presence of cancer in his left lung. He noted that he had not yet received the results, indicating he might be battling lung cancer.

Joe Exotic Speaks on Potential Treatment Decision

Exotic expressed deep appreciation for his fan base, which has helped prevent him from hitting rock bottom in jail. Despite this support, he stated that he would refuse treatment if diagnosed with lung cancer.

He explained his decision by describing the harsh conditions of his confinement:

I'm going to decline cancer treatments this time around if it is lung cancer because I just can't do it again. I can't live in a six by 12-foot concrete room with no TV, no radio, nobody and puke every day.

Personal Preparations and Final Wishes

Despite his harsh environment, Joe finds solace in organizing his affairs, leaving a documented legacy, and ensuring the well-being of his loved ones. He has made detailed plans for his demise, arranging for his ashes to be laid next to his late second husband, Travis Maldonado.

End-of-life planning includes not only his funeral but also legal directives surrounding his care. "I've already got an advanced directive and a DNR (do not resuscitate). I already have the will all set up for Seth and his son," he elaborated. This thorough preparation extends to his personal effects, all of which he leaves to his partner, Seth Posey, and his son.

Joe Exotic has announced that he is currently working on a new film titled "The Tiger King Returns," which serves as a follow-up to the popular Netflix series "Tiger King: Murder, Mystery and Mayhem." Released during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the original series became one of Netflix's most successful offerings.

Exotic explained that the new project would be more authentic, as it involved a film crew capturing the real story without any monetary compensation to those involved. He emphasized his intention to present an unembellished narrative, steering clear of sensationalism solely aimed at attracting Netflix viewers.


Once the flamboyant owner of Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and a central figure in a globally followed docuseries, Joe Exotic now confronts potentially life-ending health news with a mixture of defiance and resignation.

His preparations for personal and public closure on his terms narrate a tale of readiness facing mortality stirred by a life that has ceaselessly captured public attention, even from behind bars.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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