Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ is a true-crime documentary series that explores not only the rise and fall of a former zookeeper and convicted felon, Joe Exotic, but also the incredible journey of several other characters in the big cat industry. From breeders to caretakers to animal rights activists, along with the bizarre underworld of the business, all possible aspects are highlighted here. Yet, one of the most pleasant individuals we come across is Kelci “Saff” Saffery, one of Joe’s employees at the G.W. Zoo. So now, if you wish to know more about him, we’ve got you covered.
Kelci “Saff” Saffery’s Tiger King Journey
Kelci “Saff” Kaiulani Saffery was born in Hawaii, where his passion for tigers and other animals came to light at quite an early age. In fact, for as long as he can remember, he wanted to be surrounded by big cats; thus, it was no surprise that he eventually found himself at Joe Exotic’s wildlife park. Saff had served in the United States Army prior to that, touring in both Afghanistan and Iraq. According to reports, he lost his parents during deployment, and yet, he continued to do his best for the nation he calls home before shifting gears and changing his profession entirely.
Saff joined the G.W. Zoo as Park Manager in January 2010, but after three years, he became a little complacent and ended up hurting his left hand. He had only wanted to close the gate when he casually stuck his hand inside a tiger cage, yet the big cat within ripped apart the flesh. Saff was rushed to the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. But instead of going through two years of reconstructive surgeries and therapy to regain complete mobility, he opted to amputate. It doesn’t seem like it was a big decision for him either, especially since he returned to work mere 11 days later.
Where is Kelci “Saff” Saffery Now?
From what we can tell, Kelci “Saff” Saffery, who left his post at the animal garden in 2018, has always maintained that he lost his arm owing to a protocol he broke. Not only has he never blamed the zoo for what transpired, but he also concedes that although his former boss’ actions have bothered him in the past, he still doesn’t want Joe to die in jail. As for his opinion on his misgendering in the Netflix original, Saff said he didn’t pay it much thought, but “these titles and these pronouns, they matter just as much as calling someone by the wrong name. It’s something that you shouldn’t dismiss.”
Coming to where he is now, Saff resides in California at the moment, where he spends most of his time with his partner and girls, who seem to be the light of his life. In fact, on his Instagram, he has opened up about being a parent quite a lot over the past year. In one such post back in February, referencing one of his little girls, he wrote, “It’s fair to say my life did not start with her. There has been so much that I’ve accomplished and conquered before her. But since her, nothing comes to mind.”
In another, Saff added, “Parenting is hard. Somebody is always fighting. Somebody is not paying attention. Nobody is listening. I’m never right. Parenting is hard. I really hope it lasts forever.” Despite the fact that the public figure is not very active on social media these days, he does have a Cameo account to interact with fans.
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