The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, the former kingdom of the man known as the Tiger King, is closing its doors.
As seen on Netflix’s Tiger King series, the park previously owned by Joe Exotic (AKA The Tiger King) was transferred over to Jeff Lowe. Though ownership of the facility has been ordered to be handed over to rival Big Cat Rescue operator Carole Baskin, the evacuation of the location only needed to be complete in 120 days (starting from early June), so the zoo has still been allowing visitors since May after a brief closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. But in the wake of a recent conflict with the USDA, the zoo is now closing its doors again. And this time it’s permanent.
Jeff Lowe announced the news in a post on Facebook, where he said:
“The Tiger King phenomenon has definitely changed our lives in many ways. It has brought us more attention than any human deserves, good and bad. It has, and probably will continue to make us a target of every nutjob and animal rights loon in the world, but we are prepared.
It has also provided us with an unfathomable source of income. Income that will guarantee the long term care of our animals and allow us to be very selective going forward.
As of today, we have decided to close the old zoo effective immediately.”
Lowe blames the decision on the USDA making “false accusations” against him and suspending his exhibitors license for the animals for 21 days, citing “a litany of falsehoods.” Apparently, the suspension came after Lowe tried to forfeit the license himself in order to close the facility, but who knows what’s really going on with this whole debacle. You can read his entire Facebook post over here.
As for the new park that Jeff Lowe is building in Thackerville, Oklahoma, Lowe says that he won’t be using it as an attraction for people to see exotic animals. Instead, he said, “Our new park will, at least for the foreseeable future, be a private film set for Tiger King related television content for cable and streaming services.” Owning the animals themselves in Oklahoma is legal, so unless he gets up to anymore nefarious activities (which isn’t out of the realm of possibility), Lowe may have fewer headaches to deal with now that Wynnewood Zoo is closed for good.
The Tiger King story continues to be an absolute mess of corruption and scandal, and with new investigations into Carole Baskin regarding her missing husband who has been presumed dead, it will go on for a long time. Whenever something new comes along from this intriguing case, we’ll be sure to let you know.
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