‘Tiger King’ stars agree to give up remaining animals to Department of Justice

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THACKERVILLE, Okla. (KFOR/KXII) – The star of a Netflix docu-series that took the world by storm in 2020 has agreed to give up the rest of his animals to the United States Department of Justice.

The Justice Department filed a civil complaint in November, accusing “Tiger King” star Jeff Lowe and his wife, Lauren, of violating the Endangered Species Act and Animal Welfare Act.

The complaint accused them of “inhumane treatment” of their exotic animals.

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

The Lowes lost their license in August of 2020 after inspectors reported squalid conditions at the zoo.

In January, U.S. District Judge John F. Heil III issued an order that, among other things, required the couple to prevent breeding; to relinquish all of their lion and tiger cubs to the federal government; and not to exhibit any of their big cats.

Several months later, U.S. law enforcement agents, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, seized almost 70 animals from the Thackerville park.

“This seizure should send a clear message that the Justice Department takes alleged harm to captive-bred animals protected under the Endangered Species Act very seriously,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jean E. Williams of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Now, KXII reports that Jeff and Lauren Lowe have agreed to give up the remaining 61 animals that were left at the zoo.

The animals include porcupine, lemurs, bobcats, ferrets, raccoons, foxes, and a camel.

The DOJ has until Friday to take control of the animals.

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