All seven episode of Tiger King, including the special eighth episode, The Tiger King and I, are streaming on Netflix now. There were many interesting characters in the documentary from Joe Exotic’s business partner Jeff Lowe to former drug kingpin Mario Tabraue. One favourite from the documentary was former GW Zoo manager John Reinke. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
What happened to John Reinke?
John Reinke was a former employee of GW Zoo, working closely with Joe Exotic.
He caught the attention of viewers for being one of the most down-to-earth people to feature in the documentary and providing a voice of reason during all of the madness.
Alongside his personality, Reinke’s brightly coloured prosthetic legs stood out to viewers.
Audiences feared Reinke had lost his legs after being involved in a tiger related incident but Reinke opened up to viewers about his injures.
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Reinke explained that before he joined GW Zoo, he worked as a bungee jumper.
He lost his legs following a zip-lining accident in April 1994, in which he broke his back and hip.
Reinke also landed on a six-inch metal stake that perceived through his colon and stomach but he miraculously was able to speak despite being stuck.
Reinke fell from 55ft feet and unfortunately, his injuries left him paralysed from the waist down.
Over the next few years, Reinke had to go undergo more than 20 operations before learning to walk again.
After having his left leg amputated in 2006, Reinke and his wife came across Joe Exotic’s GW Zoo on a visit to Oklahoma.
After visiting the zoo numerous times, Exotic offered Reinke a managerial job and soon he was caring for more than 500 animals, including 187 big cats.
In 2009, the pain in his right leg increased and it was later amputated, leaving him learning to walk on not one, but two prosthetic legs.
Reinke decided to get his prosthetic legs covered in fake tattoos, which he described as looking “very cool.”
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Before appearing in the documentary, Reinke was already well known in the local news.
He had raised a lion named Bonedigger, who used to sleep in the same bed as him at the GW Zoo.
His former boss, Joe Exotic, is currently serving 22 years in prison for the murder-for-hire plot of his rival Carole Baskin alongside animal rights violations.
Exotic continues to maintain his innocence and Reinke supported Exotic throughout his trial.
He told filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin: “I mean, did Joe do wrong, yeah. I’m sure he did wrong. He did sell cubs, he did transport cubs.
“The murder-for-hire thing, I don’t think it ever would have gone this far if someone hadn’t been pushing.”
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Where is John Reinke now?
John Reinke has appeared to have moved on from his life as a manager at GW Zoo.
The Cinemaholic reported that John had returned to Texas and works with racing cars at Bodine Transmission Shop.
In the documentary, Reinke said: “Unless I had s**tloads of money to dump into Jeff’s lap, I’d never get my animals back. So I just had to walk away from them.
“I’m 52-years-old, I’m done with this he-said, she-said stuff. I live on my own now.”
In the additional eight-episode of Tiger King and I, Reinke told host Joe McHale that he had left his first wife after 30 years and has a new girlfriend.
He revealed that their divorce proceedings have not been finalised due to the current coronavirus outbreak.
Reinke also said he had not had any contact with Exotic since his incarceration earlier this year.
He added: “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in a long time.”
Tiger King is streaming on Netflix now
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