Miranda Lambert posted an interesting set throwback photos on her Instagram account on Monday. The post included multiple group photos of her and Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, or Joe Exotic, the former zookeeper who now has worldwide recognition thanks to the Netflix docuseries, Tiger King.
“Here’s a little Monday memory for y’all,” wrote Miranda, along with the hashtags #TigerKing and #WayTooPrettyForPrison, a reference to a track on her latest album, Wildcard.
Fans and fellow artists alike shared their surprise and amazement about the photos in the comments. Lauren Alaina commented, “Oh. My. Gosh.” Kassi Ashton also commented, writing, “You win,” alongside laughing emojis. Songwriter Shane McAnally also commented, simply writing, “#casual.”
Lambert took to the comments herself to share the backstory behind the photos. She says she met Exotic during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey when her animal rescue foundation, MuttNation, was transporting shelter pets from Texas to Oklahoma.
“MuttNation asked for volunteers who could transport some dogs from Houston to shelters in Oklahoma, where there was more room and they could be treated and adopted,” she wrote. “Some guy named Joe volunteered his trailer and staff. Now I know it’s ‘Joe Exotic.’”
As fans who have seen the docuseries know, Exotic was convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of murder for hire after an alleged attempt to kill Carole Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue. Exotic is currently serving 22 years in federal prison. Miranda ended her comment by making it clear she does not condone animal violence or the alleged acts of Exotic.
“I’ve never been to his zoo and I didn’t even know he had tigers,” she writes. “OBVIOUSLY I’d never condone animals being treated badly.”