This article is part of the The Tiger King and I series.
Read the previous part here.
Disclaimer: Names have been changed mostly because I forgot them and partially because they might sue me for putting them on blast.
The screaming was coming from near where I was parked on the back gravel lot and for a moment, I considered ignoring it. I was sore. I was so sore. Curiosity got the better of me and I exited my car and followed the screaming. It was deepening dusk now and I saw a group of workers all circled around something. I pushed my way through to see what the commotion was. Ignacio was fighting a kangaroo. Please let that settle in. Let that settle into the part of your brain where the absurd lives, as it did mine. I was watching a man trying to contain a loose kangaroo. I did not, and still do not know anything about kangaroos but one thing: They will beat the ever-living shit out of you.
This was not Frazier v. Ali, this was Tyson v. unarmed 4 year old. Ignacio was trying desperately to wrap his arms around the kangaroo while it kicked and punched and thrashed. I tried to step in. A rough-looking older woman pulled me back and said simply, "no". We all stood there, in the twilight, and watched Ignacio take his beating. He was bleeding. He was bleeding a lot. He had slumped down to the ground and the kangaroo had kicked him maybe 5000 times at this point.
A shot rang out and the kangaroo dropped, twitching to the ground. Robert stepped through the crowd and holstered his gun. A group of gruff men pulled Ignacio's unconscious form into one of the trailers. Robert pointed out 4 people at random and then sent the rest back to our lodgings. The men he picked, I assume, were to help him move the massive dead kangaroo.
I never saw Ignacio again. I tell myself that he was healing up. We left on tour 13 days later and I still hadn't seen him. No ambulance came, no police. I was initially confused by this. I later realized what was going on: Joe Exotic used almost exclusively illegal aliens and young, naïve teens like me for staff. It was easier for him that way. Ignacio, I hope you're alive. If not, I'm so fucking sorry.
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