6 episodes

Depending on what state you live in, it can be completely legal to own a tiger, lion, or cougar without having to register it or have a special license. Cat People examines the strange relationships people have with big cats and the legal loopholes that have made America home to more captive tigers than there are left in the wild.

Cat People Longreads

    • Documentary
    • 3.8 • 328 Ratings

Depending on what state you live in, it can be completely legal to own a tiger, lion, or cougar without having to register it or have a special license. Cat People examines the strange relationships people have with big cats and the legal loopholes that have made America home to more captive tigers than there are left in the wild.

    Episode 5: What 'Tiger King' Gets Wrong About Tigers

    Episode 5: What 'Tiger King' Gets Wrong About Tigers

    Netflix's "Tiger King" series may be the most popular documentary ever made. Sixty-four million people have seen it, and Joe Exotic is now a household name. Unfortunately, the show fails to explain what's actually happening with tigers living in the U.S., leaving out vital information while getting lots of other things wrong. In this special bonus episode, reporter Rachel Nuwer walks through exactly how the show misleads its viewers, and what "Tiger King's" massive popularity means for big cats.
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    • 30 min
    Episode 4: The Carole Gun

    Episode 4: The Carole Gun

    Joe Exotic, a self-described “gay, gun-carrying redneck with a mullet,” owned more tigers than anyone in the United States. He said that one of his guns was going to be used to kill Carole Baskin, who had been trying to shut him down for a decade. But instead of killing Carole, he hired a hitman to do it for him. And that decision may prove the undoing of not only the so-called Tiger King, but of the entire big cat industry.
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    • 36 min
    Episode 3: Big Cats, Rescued

    Episode 3: Big Cats, Rescued

    If there is a solution to the big cat problem, it’s probably going to come from Big Cat Rescue, in Tampa, Florida. But what started as a facility to house exotic felines is now also an operation where owners Carole Baskin and her husband Howard work to change federal laws around cat ownership. And not everyone is happy about those changes.
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    • 29 min
    Episode 2: $10,000 of Meat

    Episode 2: $10,000 of Meat

    Deb Pierce always dreamed of owning a lion and a cougar. Now she does. And they were surprisingly easy to get. But life as a big cat owner isn’t what she thought it would be. In this episode we look at the supply and demand for deadly feline predators, and what happens when those cute, cuddly kittens grow up.
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    • 34 min
    Episode 1: No Law Against It

    Episode 1: No Law Against It

    In 2009, Terry Thompson set loose 18 tigers, 17 lions, three cougars, and numerous other animals on the town of Zanesville, Ohio. Then, he took his own life. Restoring order was a harrowing operation for law enforcement that made national headlines. But what many people don’t realize is that there are thousands of potentially deadly big cats living in American homes, basements, and backyards. Zanesville wasn't an isolated event, just the worst example of a growing problem.
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    • 21 min
    Cat People, Coming Soon ...

    Cat People, Coming Soon ...

    Official trailer for Cat People, coming soon.

    Depending on what state you live in, it can be completely legal to own a tiger, lion, or cougar without having to register it or have a special license.

    Cat People examines the strange relationships people have with big cats and the legal loopholes that have made America home to more captive tigers than there are left in the wild.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5
328 Ratings

328 Ratings

Sarah Yates Mora ,

Excellent journalism, important listen

Very much enjoyed this podcast, informative, interesting and very well produced. Thank you for creating this, I hope it helps bring more awareness to this issue and legislation can be put in place to protect these incredible animals!

Giulietta429 ,

Good quality journalism - interesting and well made

I found the Longreads article on the topic, which references these podcasts. I am very happy to have listened. I liked Rachel’s style and the facts that this podcast brought the focus back to where it should have been all along - the plight of big cats, exploited cradle to grave and discarded when they are no longer profitable.
I don’t think Tiger King should be billed as a documentary. It is anything but.
We need more quality, objective journalism such as that here. Well done.

Cubone&NatutrainerLannisterfan ,

Not these two

I didn’t watch the Netflix documentary and I don’t want to. The reality is that there’s always going to be bias towards both sides.
There’s evidence that Joe did things that were illegal and he got caught. Whether Carole is guilty or not is unknown. It has suspicious circumstances surrounding it but with out cold hard evidence she can’t be charged.
Look it comes down to one thing,
Neither of them are saints. They both have done things wrong. Why does it matter so much to people??
Shouldn’t our focus as a community who love Big Cats and who want to see them treated like the regal cats they are be on the welfare and happiness of these animals? If they are in a Big Cat center, then they should have their rights taken away if they mistreated the animals. Also why would you wanna take baby tigers out in public for money and “photo ops” only to dispose of them when they get to a certain age? They should of been handed over to zoos.
I’d rather see tigers and big cats in zoos or facilities like zoos than with two idiots who squabbled over everything else and acted like children.
Tiger King seems a little facetious doesn’t it?

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