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‘Tiger King’s’ Joe Exotic reportedly refuses treatment for cancer that may have spread


Joe Exotic, the controversial star of Netflix’s “Tiger King,” is reportedly not seeking a cure for his prostate cancer, more than a year after his diagnosis.

Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, said in a letter obtained by TMZ that his cancer has progressed and that his doctors believe it has spread to his bladder.

According to TMZ, the television star has had “a lot of blood in his urine” and had “a lot” of bleeding during his prostate cancer treatments.

Detained at Federal Medical Center Fort Worth in Texas, Exotic, 59, reportedly said he will pass on treatment despite his medical team’s desire for more tests.

“I want to stay here and just let it run its course,” Exotic wrote, according to TMZ.

The former zookeeper, who rose to popularity in the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” was convicted in 2019 on federal charges of animal cruelty and murder-for-hire against rival Carole Baskin.

In January 2022, a federal judge reduced Exotic’s sentence from 22 years to 21 years, despite his pleas for clemency over his cancer diagnosis.

In November 2021, Exotic wrote in a letter shared to The Times that he had been diagnosed with “aggressive” cancer but was not seeking support.

“Right now I don’t want anyone’s pity (sic),” he wrote.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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