The Netflix series Tiger King has officially become the backbone holding 2020 together. And the backbone holding Tiger King together has to be the one person who remained completely collected throughout the show's chaotic ups and downs: Saff. After he lost his arm due to an accident at Joe Exotic's G. W. Zoo in 2013, the now-former staff member proved to be the voice of reason throughout the docuseries. So, what does Saff think of Tiger King?
"I'm glad [Tiger King is] getting the attention that it's getting ... In the animal industry, I think we feel like we fight all the fights alone, because there's other issues at hand that people are focused on," Saff told Out Magazine. "I think the additional attention is always positive, even if people are like, 'Oh, that's the craziest thing I've ever seen.' It's still they have seen it and now it's on their mind. Maybe next time they'll think twice about decisions that pertain towards or are pertinent to the animal world."
The former U.S. armed forces member gained a lot of attention since Tiger King premiered. "I have been in the news before, obviously when my incident happened, but this is a whole different level," he said about his Tiger King fame. "People recognize me ... So, this is a little bit new to me, and I'll be honest, sometimes it gets a little bit uncomfortable. I do enjoy my space."
While he might not have intended to become a star overnight, the life-long tiger-lover is looking at the positives of his new situation. "This was my life for almost 10 years. I sacrificed for that cause and for the animals, so I think that's the thing that I take away from it the most. If walking around Walmart and getting recognized means that more people are involved in the world that I invested so much of myself into, then I can smile at the end of the day, that's for sure."
However, Saff was disappointed by the lack of actual animal footage shown in Tiger King.
"I think the amount of time that they spent on park filming wasn't reflected. There wasn't a lot of what we do there, you know. It wasn't just a matter of doing these cub petting events or these tours; we constantly interacted with our animals," he said. "They were friends to us, and we looked forward to interacting with them. You become very, very much attached to these animals as if they are a large part of your life, and I don't think that was depicted as much as as I know it was present."
Saff left the zoo in 2018, but he still loves animals. "The passion never went away — I still have that drive to do it — but I didn't see that in the mission of the zoo anymore, honestly," he said. "That's why I left."
Tiger King is on Netflix now.