Oklahoma judge orders ‘Tiger King’ zoo to turn over big cats

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Jeff Lowe, owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, walked away from an interview after he was asked about his ability to care for animals at his zoo.

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MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — The new owners of an Oklahoma zoo featured in Netflix’s “Tiger King” documentary have been ordered to turn over all the lion and tiger cubs and their mothers to the federal government.

A federal judge issued the order last week in the case against Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe and the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park.

The Justice Department filed a civil complaint in November accusing “Tiger King” star Jeffrey Lowe and his wife, Lauren violating both the Endangered Species Act and Animal Welfare Act, accusing them of “inhumane treatment” of their exotic animals.

The Lowes took over operations of the zoo, which was previously run by Joseph Maldonado-Passage — also known as Joe Exotic — and featured in Netflix’s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

The Lowes lost their license in August after inspectors reported squalid conditions at the zoo. According to the complaint, the Lowes moved the animals to Thackerville, Oklahoma to create an unlicensed wildlife park called “Tiger King Park.”

After the closure of the Wynnewood zoo in August, the Lowes agreed to pay over $100,000 in taxes for unreported sales at the facility.

Jeffrey Lowe’s attorney, Daniel Card of Oklahoma City, hasn’t responded to a message seeking comment.

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