Is Joe Exotic’s ‘Tiger King’ zoo permanently closing?
It’s completely understandable not to care about Tiger King anymore. It was truly an unforgettable moment in our nation’s history that will live on in our quarantine memories – but frankly society has progressed past the need for Tiger King content at this point.
But the Tiger King saga ain’t over just yet. Conflicting reports have emerged about the future of Joe Exotic’s former zoo, but one thing’s for sure: the GW Exotic Animal Park is officially closed for good. Find out more below.
True crime vs. Zoo crime
Jeff Lowe, a featured character/subject in Tiger King and the former owner of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park (after receiving the zoo from Joe Exotic), has voluntarily forfeited his exhibitor’s license, according to a Facebook post made from the park’s account.
Lowe claimed that “less than 24 hours after” he contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to “voluntarily forfeit [his] license”, he was notified that his license was suspended.
Lowe and the park had been the subject of intense scrutiny before the release of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, but since it blew up on Netflix, they’ve received attention “more than any human deserves, good and bad” according to him. Both PETA & Carole Baskin have chimed in with their concerns for the animals’ wellbeing, despite Lowe’s claims the park passed all five recent state inspections.
While the future of the captive wildlife is still in question, Baskin was awarded ownership of the park in June 2020 after winning a lawsuit against Exotic for copyright infringement. It’s unknown at this time if this development had anything to do with Lowe’s decision.
PETA weighs in
A response from PETA heralded the decision, predicting that “a permanent revocation should be next, and Lowe’s tiger-terrorizing days may soon be over.”
The animal rights group also mentioned in their statement that this decision came after USDA reports emerged in June about a halted inspection of the facility after the discovery of a juvenile lion named Nala who was “lethargic, depressed, and thin” and could be seen lying in the mud.
Jeff Lowe has not responded to this claim, and left it out of his recent statement.
More Tiger King coming
Though Lowe attributes much of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park’s problems to the outcry from Carole Baskin & PETA, the park was temporarily closed due to COVID-19, then opened back up to visitors on May 6th, 2020. Photos from the opening weekend showed hundreds of customers & employees crowded into the zoo without masks. Lowe was even photographed without a mask, seemingly defying government regulations.
In his statement, Lowe confirmed that the success of Tiger King has rewarded him with “an unfathomable source of income” that he planned to put towards creating a new park for the animals without “USDA inspections or PETA spies” . . . damn those animal-loving park Nazis and their concern for fellow species!
With reports of a second season of Tiger King and a Hollywood adaptation in the works, Lowe asserted the new park in Thackerville, Oklahoma will be a private film set focused on “Tiger King-related television content”.
Got some more additional space in your brain for backwoods antics? Then you’re in luck.