'Tiger King' zoo ordered to turn over all big cats to federal government
MUSKOGEE, OK - A federal judge has ordered the new owners of the zoo featured in the Netflix hit "Tiger King" to turn in all lion and tiger cubs, as well as the animals' mothers, to the federal government.
Jeffery and Lauren Lowe were ordered to give up all big cats in their possession at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park over alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act and the Animal Welfare Act. A federal investigation of the property began after the show aired, when an animal rights group accused the owners of neglect.
“The Lowes have showed a shocking disregard for both the health and welfare of their animals, as well as the law,” said Jonathan D. Brightbill, acting assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
The Lowe family took over operations of the zoo in 2016 after Joe "Exotic", whose real name is Joe Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced to 22 years in prison. The Wynnewood, Oklahoma zoo was featured in the 2020 Netflix docuseries, "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness."
The attorney representing the Lowe family did not give any immediate comment.