Two pop culture worlds just collided, and everyone has questions. On Monday morning, Miranda Lambert shared a few photos of herself with Joe Exotic — the controversial figure behind the wildly popular Netflix series Tiger King — offering little in the way of details. So, naturally, fans (not to mention the rest of us) are perplexed. How does Lambert know Joe? Let’s take a closer look.
Taking to Instagram, Lambert shared three photos: one a posed group photo and two candid shots that show her with Joe. “Here’s a little Monday memory for y’all,” she captioned the mini-gallery, playfully adding the hashtags, “#TigerKing” and “#WayTooPrettyForPrison.” The latter, of course, is a riff on her recent duet with Maren Morris by the same name and a nod to the fact that Joe is currently serving out a 22-year sentence for allegedly hatching a murder-for-hire plot.
And in case you somehow managed to miss the show that has launched one million memes, Joe isn’t the only familiar face in Lambert’s photos. The staged group shot also features Kelci “Saff” Saffery (who memorably lost his arm to a tiger in the Netflix documentary) and Joe’s ex-husband John Finlay. So, how the hell did Lambert wind up in the same frame as the former staffers of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park? One fan might have found the answer.
In the comment thread of Lambert’s photos, a fan dropped the link to an article in response to questions about when the snapshots were taken. That link leads to an article in the Tennessean from 2017 that details Lambert’s crusade to help clear animal shelters in Houston ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.
To do so, her animal rescue charity MuttNation Foundation partnered with the Humane Society of the United States to transport adoptable animals out of Houston to shelters in other states so that Houston would have more room to help dogs abandoned or rescued in the hurricane’s aftermath. Here’s where Joe may have quite literally entered the picture.
Lambert and the MuttNation Foundation team loaded up as many cats and dogs as they could safely fit into their rigs and transported them from Houston to affiliated rescue facilities in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and MuttNationa’s home base of Bixby, Oklahoma. Joe’s Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park sits about three hours south of Tulsa and Bixby, on the path from Tulsa. Judging by the photos, Lambert’s team was stopped at a rest area welcome center when the pictures were taken, so maybe they were taking a break en route to Tulsa and wound up near Joe and his park.
Sure enough, Lambert is wearing the same shirt and hat in one of the photos as she is in the Tennessean article, so that party of the mystery seems solved. After all, Lambert is a huge animal lover. And while we aren’t 100 percent sure to what extent Joe was involved, we 100 percent do hope Lambert shines a little more light on her intriguing post.
Before you go, check a few other wild Netflix documentaries you should watch.