Cat breeder Joe Exotic pays ‘hit man’ $3K to kill woman suing him for animal cruelty, cops say

An animal breeder in Oklahoma has been indicted as part of a federal investigation into the alleged murder-for-hire plot to kill a rival.

According to Fox News, 55-year-old Joe Exotic operated until recently a private zoo in Wynnewood, which showcased exotic animals including the big cats he had become known for breeding.

Carole Baskin, who runs an animal sanctuary facility in Florida, had become a thorn in Exotic’s side, filing lawsuits that claim he abused animals in his care.

Reports indicate Exotic was in Florida when he was arrested this week. He had allegedly discussed killing Baskin with an undercover FBI agent he believed to be a hit man.

In a statement to reporters about the development, Baskin said the evidence that her life was in danger was not a shock.

“I was surprised he didn’t want to do it himself, but I wasn’t surprised he would try and follow through,” she said.

A woman identified only as Jane Doe in the indictment claims the defendant approached her with an interest in finding someone to kill Baskin.

In addition to allegedly posting threats of violence against Baskin online, police say Exotic gave the individual he believed to be a hit man $3,000 to carry out the hit.

A statement from the Oklahoma City U.S. Attorney’s Office indicated that Exotic “allegedly agreed to pay thousands more after the deed.”

[Featured image: Joe Exotic, Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office in Florida]