Tiger King‘s Carole Baskin will soon be taking over the zoo formerly operated by Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic from the hit Netflix docuseries.
The G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park located in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, was previously under the control of Jeff Lowe in recent years, but now the park is being handed over to Baskin – the very woman whom Joe tried to eliminate.
Want the Top 5 news stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox before you even wake up? Sign up for the Fame10 Top 5 newsletter and receive 5 breaking news stories every morning!
Baskin and her Big Cat Rescue corporation have been granted control of the Oklahoma property by a judge who found that the property was fraudulently transferred to Maldonado-Passage’s mother years ago, according to Fox 25.
Now, Lowe has 120 days to vacate from the premises – including all of his animals currently residing there, according to a copy of the ruling published by the Courthouse News Service.
The ruling marks yet another twist in the complicated world of big cats being kept in the United States.
Tiger King director Eric Goode told Entertainment Weekly in March that the G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park was still open, but was “basically operating on fumes.”
“No one is going now and there’s no source of income, and that’s been going on for a long time,” Goode said. “It’s not something that has just happened because of what’s happening in the world today.”
In a complaint that was filed in February 2016, Big Cat Rescue sued Maldonado-Passage’s mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel, it alleged that the transfer of the zoo was fraudulent.
“Schreibvogel later admitted under oath that the zoo land was transferred to her by Joe Maldonado to remove it from the reach of creditors, including BCR, should BCR win its Florida lawsuit,” the complaint said, per the Courthouse News Service.
Maldonado-Passage’s mother allegedly admitted in 2015 that “the zoo land was fraudulently transferred to her by Joe Maldonado in 2011 to avoid his creditors,” according to Courthouse News Service.
Maldonado-Passage was sentenced to 22 years in prison when he was found guilty in 2019 for paying a hitman $3,000 to eliminate Baskin. The former zoo owner was also found guilty on several charges of violating both the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records, and the Endangered Species Act. Maldonado-Passage filed a lawsuit earlier in the year against multiple government agencies, as well as his former business partner, seeking $94 million in damages.