Tiger King Star Joe Exotic's Father Dies from COVID-19

Joe Exotic's father, Francis Schreibvogel, has died following complications from COVID-19.

Eric Love, a member of the disgraced zookeeper's legal team, confirmed the news to PEOPLE on Thursday.

A funeral will be held on Saturday in Oklahoma, according to TMZ, which first reported the news of Schreibvogel's death earlier this week.

The Tiger King star, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving the first year of a 22-year prison sentence for plotting to kill his nemesis, animal rights activist Carole Baskin, among other charges.

He shared a series of tweets on Tuesday mourning his father. "2021 already is showing the evil side. I just learned my Dad has passed away now also," he wrote alongside a photo of the pair. "So hard being here knowing I am innocent and now I have lost both parents during this hell, when is anyone in this system going to care?"

"I pray so hard for God to watch over him and Dillon every night, seems like the prayers are not even being heard anymore," Maldonado-Passage added, referencing husband Dillon Passage, who was arrested and charged with a DWI in November. (According to Travis County court records, Passage made his first appearance in court for a misdemeanor DWI in December, but the records do not indicate whether he entered a plea.)

"R.I.P. Dad, tell Mom hello, at least you are not alone anymore. I love you both," he concluded.

His father's death comes as Maldonado-Passage seeks a pardon from Donald Trump before the president's final days in office are up later this month.

Maldonado-Passage has pleaded with Trump for a pardon before, first in a lengthy Facebook post last March asking him to "do the right thing" and "have this looked into."

Last month, his lawyer filed a complaint against the Department of Justice demanding that a recommendation be made about his pardon request to the president.

A DOJ spokesperson previously declined to comment on the lawsuit but pointed to the department's guidelines, which "require a petitioner to wait a period of at least five years after conviction or release from confinement (whichever is later) before filing a pardon application."

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