An Original Documentary
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Minnesota Tiger Man is the story of Grant Oly, a man who starts a Siberian tiger habitat in his own yard after taking in a tiger cub from a local whose big cat facility was shut down in the late 90s. His facility eventually expands to include seven fully-grown tigers and thousands of square feet of exhibits. Grant spends years clearing land to build cages and zoo-like exhibits around his home and spent countless hours and thousands of dollars trying to build a habitat suitable for his animals.
However, after a series of accidents lead the local government to question the safety and legal validity of the facility, Grant is thrown into a series of multi-year-long legal battles, ultimately leading to the Department of Homeland Security stepping in, seizing the tigers, and throwing Grant into jail with no bail -- eventually leading to over eight years of legal proceedings and multiple trials.
More than fifteen years later, Grant works to move on and lives in the same half-finished concrete home surrounded by the remains of his tiger habitat. Oly vividly remembers the past and those who he believes wronged him, still trying to figure out exactly what happened so many years ago.
With authorities that took questionable shortcuts, possible strings being pulled in local government by mysterious influential forces, and inconsistencies and contradictions in the story coming from all sides, the complete truth is sometimes hard to fully discern as the viewer is immersed in extensive amounts of real-life archival footage and interview accounts. The larger issues surrounding exotic animal ownership and conservation are explored and contextualized through Grant's story.