The 'Tiger King' Zoo Is Under New Management. What Does That Mean for the Exotic Cats Who Live There?
Joe Exotic’s (real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage) Oklahoma-based exotic animal park featured in the popular Netflix series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness was recently re-opened for business. The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park closed for a month due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, its re-opening on April 24th was greeted with long lines of visitors hoping to see tigers and more.
Visitors didn't get to meet Joe Exotic at the park — he’s currently serving 22 years for solicitation of murder and various wildlife-related offenses. Those visiting the park instead found Exotic’s former business partner, Jeff Lowe, and his wife, Lauren, interacting with visitors. Other park employees featured on the Netflix series, such as tiger trainer Erik Cowie, were present at the park as well.
However, things took an unexpected turn when a judge ordered Lowe and his wife to vacate the property in 120 days. In an ironic twist, Carole Baskin, archrival of Joe Exotic, will soon take over the property. This is how it happened.
How Jeff Lowe Gained the Park ...
In 2011, Joe Exotic was successfully sued for $1 million by Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue for trademark and copyright infringement. He transferred his park to his mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel, to keep creditors and Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue from seizing it to collect on his debts. His mother later transferred the park in 2016 to Lowe, who continued to use it as a wildlife attraction.
… and Lost It
Schreibvogel, Exotic’s mother, was herself sued by Big Cat Rescue after the park was transferred to her. She later admitted under oath that the park was fraudulently transferred, and her testimony led to the judge’s ruling that Lowe must vacate the park.
What About Carol Baskin's "Big Cat Rescue"?
On the surface, it might seem like Baskin's Big Cat Rescue is similar to Tiger King Park. After all, both locations feature big cats on display for entertainment purposes. However, there are several key differences between Big Cat Rescue and Tiger King Park.