When Carole Baskin, a big cat rescuer, sets out to end roadside zoo operator Joe Exotic's animal shows and cub-breeding business, he retaliates, inciting a bitter 10-year feud that threatens both of their livelihoods.
Carole sets out on a crusade to end Joe's venture. But Carole has a checkered past of her own, and when the claws come out, Joe will stop at nothing to expose what he sees as her hypocrisy. The results prove dangerous.
Carole Baskin, a big cat rescuer, learns that roadside zoo owner Joe Exotic has hired a hitman to murder her; seven years earlier, their rivalry begins when she builds a coalition to shut down his animal show and cub-petting operation.
Joe takes John and Reinke on a road trip for a surprise visit to Big Cat Rescue; Carole builds a case to bring down an abusive tiger owner; Joe and John take their relationship a step further.
Carole sues Joe for copyright infringement; Joe retaliates by reading Carole's diary on the internet and claiming she killed her ex-husband; Howard recommends they enter mediation and tries to broker a deal; Joe offers Travis a job at the zoo.
Hoping to elevate his internet presence, Joe hires a reality producer named Rick Kirkham; Joe's videos threaten Carole's legislative efforts; Joe, John and Travis begin an unconventional relationship.
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Joe flies off the handle when Carole tries to turn those closest to him against him; Rick films a wedding at the zoo; Carole searches for a congressional sponsor for her big cat bill.
Joe finds a new partner for the zoo and pursues his political aspirations; John learns some unexpected news; Travis seeks purpose; Carole prepares to testify before Congress.
Joe meets another love interest and comes up with a solution to his problems with Carole; Carole hires a security detail and attends a fundraiser.
Joe and Dillon go on the run as they hide from law enforcement; a discovery is made at the zoo; Carole prepares to testify.