It’s no surprise that the new series Tiger King has captivated thousands of viewers currently stuck at home. From conspiracy theories to true-crime and everything in between, viewers have had a range of reactions to the docuseries. In the midst of all the social media drama and Tiger King memes, two people have even gone so far as to start a Facebook event to "storm Big Cat Rescue."
The event is titled Storm Big Cat Rescue Wearing Joe Exotic Shirts! and is set for July 10, 2020.
Event hosts Chad Blankman and Randy Baker, who are both from Indiana, expressed in the description that the gathering is to honor Joe Exotic, the rival zookeeper depicted in the series who is currently serving time in a Texas federal prison. They urge attendees to don Joe Exotic shirts.
The public event was created less than a week ago and currently has 2.3k people interested, and 581 who have confirmed their attendance.
Blankman wants to be sure the protesting is done "professionally," and safely.
"We are going to do this professionally. I need to see if I can be held responsible for other people’s actions, if I can be sued, if so on what terms," he wrote on the event page today.
He is also seeking an attorney for legal advice and asking Tampa locals to help him file for a permit in the county.
"Maybe Don’s attorney..." he suggested. "If we are doing this, we are doing this the correct way!"
In the discussion section, attendees are even debating the best breakfast spots in Tampa to hit before their gathering, with some far-away fans expressing their wish that they lived closer to the action.
Other than to "honor Joe Exotic," who has previously held a protest here, there is no other stated motive behind this protest.
*At 3p.m. we received further information from Blankman about his motives and intentions.
"The motivation behind the event is to raise awareness to the real issue," he told Narcity.
"The real issue is there are more big cats in private collections than there is in the wild. Carole owns Big Cat Rescue and collects donations, charges and does not pay employees. So she is collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in donations that goes towards her facility."
According to a blog post on Big Cat Rescue's site, "All sanctuary income, whether it is from tours, donations, or a gift shop, stays in the nonprofit to support its mission. Carole gets none of that money, just her salary like the other employees."
Blankman believes that "Big Cat Rescue is the worst sanctuary out of the whole documentary," and "the documentary raised some awareness. It’s time to capitalize on it while it’s a hot subject."
If the public event can't be held inside the non-profit, it is expected to happen outside Big Cat Rescue.
Big Cat Rescue is currently closed to the public due to concerns over COVID-19, so attendees will have to wait and see if the July date for the storming event will still play out.
*this article has been updated