Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ shows us that by the time Joe Exotic landed in prison, he didn’t have many friends left. Having alienated most of them, due to his professional dealings, or personal behavior, not many people were left in Joe’s quarter. One exception to this was John Reinke.
As the docuseries shows, Reinke stuck with Joe, throughout, but was eventually done with the mudslinging that became a daily part of their lives. He made a change for himself in terms of profession and life choices. Naturally, you might be wondering about where he is at present. We have got you covered in that regard.
Who is John Reinke?
John Reinke seemingly traded one dangerous job for another. He used to be a professional bungee jumper. However, on April 22, 1994, tragedy struck. John was helping his friends test a bungee jumping ride when a pulley malfunctioned, and he fell 55 feet. He bounced, which crushed both his legs. Tragically, John also landed on a 6-inch metal stake, which pierced his colon and stomach. The accident took place in Burkburnett, Texas.
He was married to Kristi at the time and asked others to get his wife so that he could say goodbye. Instead, they got him help. Reinke used a wheelchair for one and a half years before learning to walk again at the Dallas Rehabilitation Institute. In 2006, the doctors amputated his left leg, replacing it with a prosthetic.
A stroke of luck took Reinke, his wife, and two kids to Joe’s park during the 2006 Spring Break. There they met Ozzie, the grizzly, and Reinke kept returning to feed the bear. Eventually, in 2007, he moved in as a manager. He shared a two-bedroom house with six volunteers, four dogs, two monkeys, and several lions and tiger cubs, that needed bottle feeding.
Reinke’s family remained in Texas but visited him. In September 2009, the doctors had to remove his right leg, but he was back to work in 10 days, with two prosthetic limbs. Reinke grew incredibly close to some animals at the zoo, including a lion named Bonedigger, who also formed an unusual friendship with Milo, a dachshund.
Speaking out during Joe’s trial, Reinke commented, “Yeah, and no. I mean, did Joe do wrong, yeah. I’m sure he did wrong. He did sell cubs, he did transport cubs. The murder-for-hire thing, I don’t think it ever would have gone this far if someone hadn’t been pushing”.
Where is John Reinke Now?
Now to the question: what has John Reinke been up to lately. He has made significant changes to his life when it comes to his work. The docuseries sees him driving a Chevrolet, and a fancy looking vehicle, at two different points. It appears that John is tired of the ‘he said, she said’ stuff, after having worked with Joe for over a decade and having kept him out of trouble. He wants to be happy now.
It appears that John has also left his wife after 30 years, and from the series, it is evident that he works on vehicles, which are used for racing purposes. Having dug around a bit, it seems that Reinke works, in some capacity, with Bodine Transmission Shop. Located in Burkburnett, it looks like Reinke has gone back to Texas. You can check out this post from September 21, 2019, thanking Reinke and others. We’d reached out to Bodine Transmission Shop, and they got back today, informing us that they supply the cars that Reinke works on.
Going to try our luck at Lawton Speedway’s Winter Nationals next week. Thanks to Pruitt Ford, Lonestar Autoparts (NAPA),…
Netflix has added another episode to the docuseries titled ‘The Tiger King and I’. It clears up some questions about Reinke’s personal life at the moment. He has a girlfriend now and is separated from his wife. However, their divorce proceedings have not been finalized due to the COVID-19 related lockdown.
While Reinke maintains that he hasn’t contacted Joe, the ex-employee is quite sure that it is not the last he’s heard of Exotic’s case.
Read More: Where is Joe Exotic Now?