Who is Yarri Schreibvogel? Joe Exotic’s older brother who features in Tiger King 2
Their relationship is said to be estranged and they haven’t spoken in 20 years
Tiger King 2 has landed on Netflix, and now the crazy world of big cat owners and Joe Exotic has been thrust into our lives once again. In the new episodes we learn more about Joe Exotic’s early life and childhood, and his estranged brother, Yarri Schreibvogel, is interviewed.
Joe Exotic was born Joseph Allen Schreibvogel. Not much is known about his brother, Yarri Schreibvogel, as he hasn’t been a figure who was introduced in Tiger King on Netflix previously. From the documentary it is clear they don’t get on anymore, and there’s some bad blood between the brothers which looks to stem back a long, long time. Here’s what we know about Yarri Schreibvogel and his relationship growing up as the older brother of Joe Exotic.
Yarri Schreibvogel is Joe Exotic’s older brother and the pair grew up together on the family farm
Yarri Schreibvogel appears in the first episode of Tiger King 2, giving an insight into their family life and what Joe Exotic was like as a child. Joe Exotic was born in March 1963 and the family lived in Garden City, Kansas. His parents Francis and Shirley Schreibvogel had four other children: Tamara, Pamela, Yarri, and Garold “G.W.” Wayne.
Joe Exotic has spoken much more about his brother Garold, who died in a car accident. The zoo, G.W. Zoo, is named after his brother. With the exception of Garold, Joe Exotic is said to not have a good relationship with any of his family members. The worst relationship is said to be with Yarri. The first shot we see of Yarri in Tiger King 2 is him shooting a gun at a Joe Exotic target, which probably says it all really.
Yarri and Joe clearly had a better relationship at some point, as in Tiger King 2 family photos of them out fishing together are shown. However the brothers are now estranged and Yarri says he hasn’t seen Joe in over 20 years. “I haven’t seen Joe face to face in 20 years and don’t want to because it ain’t going to be pretty,” Yarri Schreibvogel says. “Joe screwed over a million people. I don’t understand why all these bullshit lawyers ain’t ever talked to the right people.”
Yarri describes their life growing up. He says the Schreibvogel children worked from daylight to dark on the farm every day, and were treated terribly by their father. “We [him and Joe] always fought cause we had to do all the work and he got out of it all the time. He describes Joe as a “little con”, saying: “It didn’t matter what he had to do to get people to look at him, he would do it.”
Joe Exotic stayed on the family farm in Garden City, Kansas, until he was 13. Yarri claims Joe would walk around the family farm with a BB gun, shooting animals and then “doctoring them back to life”. Yarri says that Joe was in a “make believe world” as a child.
Reports say that the brothers’ relationship became estranged when Joe Exotic was outed to his parents as being gay by Yarri. In response, their father is reported to have made Joe shake his hand and promise not to come to his funeral.
Yarri Schreibvogel has been in another documentary about his brother, and is a keen fisherman
Tiger King 2 isn’t the first time Yarri Schreibvogel has been on TV. In 2021 he featured on Shooting Joe Exotic. In the Louis Theroux series, a letter from Joe describes being molested by his eldest brother, Yarri, at five-years-old. Shooting Joe Exotic catches up with Yarri at his home and he denies the allegations of sexual assault made in the letter, although he does corroborate the parental abuse Joe suffered. Yarri’s house contains lots of family photos, but none containing Joe – he explains “they’re burnt. I got rid of them all”.
In the series we also learn that Joe Exotic banned Yarri from visiting their brother Garold in hospital after his accident because of his “bad vibes”. Yarri also accuses Joe of using family money after Garold’s death for himself, when it was planned to be used to build a soccer pitch for young children, which honoured one of Garold’s passions. The brothers’ parents received a $250,000 insurance payout following the death and the money was instead spent on Joe’s zoo.
Yarri Schreibvogel has been a keen fisher since he was young, and these days it doesn’t look like he’s given up his hobby. An old newspaper cutting says Yarri won an honour in a contest aged 15 and now on the Major League Fishing website he’s listed as having taken part in and finished 32 events, winning just over $6,000 doing so. Yarri is believed to be aged in his 60s now.
Tiger King 2 is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.
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