Before Joe Exotic, We Had a Loose Tiger and a Tiger Lady in NJ
With the popularity of "Tiger King" on Netflix, we're reminded that New Jersey once had it's own "Tiger Lady."
Hardly anyone had heard of Joan Byron-Marasek, or knew that she kept a bunch of tigers on her property in Jackson until one fateful night in early 1999.
That night, January 27, 1999 a tiger was spotted in the woods of Jackson. According to NJ.com, It was Byron-Marasek's 431-pound Bengal tiger that got loose, and caught the attention of not only local residents, but many across New Jersey. For some eight hours, the tiger was loose, until it was taken down by a local police officer, according to the Asbury Park Press:
Eventually, Byron-Marasek's compound was shut down and her remaining tigers were sent to a facility in Texas.