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Zak Bagans opens ‘Tiger King’ exhibit in Las Vegas

Updated September 12, 2020 - 11:14 am

Hyped for weeks and a tribute to an early pandemic Netflix phenomenon, the “Tiger King” exhibit at Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum is now open to the public.

Bagans says he is happy with the finished product, which went live Thursday morning.

“It’s full of bamboo, tiki waterfalls and palms.” Bagans also mentioned a “pump” of some level of notoriety from the show.

Some pieces on display were owned by the late Travis Maldonado, whose suicide (ruled accidental) was an integral turning point in the Netflix series.

Other items to be exhibited include Joe Exotic’s jeweled crown and some of his clothing; wedding effects from the three-way ceremony involving Exotic, Maldonado and John Finlay; the actual Exotic Animal Park sign; Maldonado’s glass pipe; and a section of the wall showing the bullet hole from Maldonado’s tragic death.

There are also some personal “intimate” belongings culled from Exotic and Maldonado’s relationship. Bagans obtained most of the collection this summer and is including the exhibit in his museum’s ongoing expansion.

Also, Bagans says he is expecting Travel Channel to announce its plans for a special dedicated to the “Tiger King” property. Previous reports have specified a two-hour special to air on Halloween.

In July, Bagans and his “Ghost Adventures” crew filmed for a week at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, better known as Tiger King Zoo, in Oklahoma. During that trip, they met and interviewed then-Wynnewood Animal Park owner Jeff Lowe, who has since departed for a new zoo after losing the park to nemesis Carole Baskin.

Elsewhere, Bagans has added to his John Wayne Gacy attraction. As reported by TMZ, the latest haul is a collection of Gacy’s artwork from his prison confinement, including an unsettling self-portrait of Gacy in clown makeup.

Bagans obtained the items from Gacy’s stepdaughter, Tammy Hoff, who lives in Las Vegas. The display includes letters decorated with clown stickers, and the last pack of cigarettes Gacy smoked before being executed. This is where we remind, there is no smoking allowed in the Haunted Museum.

PBS to air Education Hero Gala

The Public Education Foundation’s Education Hero Award Gala honors its 10 community figures of 2020 from 7-8:30 p.m. Friday. The event honors those who supported students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The show will be broadcast on Vegas PBS and livestreamed at thepef.org, and it will be available for viewing on that site for at least a month.

Kendall Tenney and Jeff Civillico co-host. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, one municipality and individual educators are to be honored. Performers include Human Nature, Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton-Holmes, the Blue Man Group band and Las Vegas-area students. Raiders President Marc Badain and coach Jon Gruden, comic Brad Garrett and Luxor headliner Carrot Top are among those providing inspirational messages.

Friday’s digital stream is the first event approved by the FCC to receive a fundraising waiver in response to COVID-19.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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