Carole Baskin will soon own Joe Exotic’s tiger zoo.
A federal judge ruled Monday that the 16-acre Oklahoma property containing the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park formerly owned by Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is to be handed over to his rival Baskin.
The exotic zoo will become property of Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue in Tampa.
Exotic, has been involved in a series of lawsuits and long standing rivalry with Baskin for years, which was a major subject of interest in the Netflix hit documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”
Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence for plotting to have Baskin murdered, the killing of five tigers and several other wildlife violations.After Baskin was awarded $1 million in a trademark infringement lawsuit against Exotic in 2013, ownership of the zoo was granted to Exotic’s late mother, Shirley Schreibvogel. Three years later, Big Cat Rescue sued Schreibvogel.
Judge Scott L. Palk, the same judge who presided over Exotic’s criminal case, ruled the transfer to Schreibvogel was fraudulent in Monday’s ruling, effectively granting the rescue ownership of Exotic’s zoo and several on-property buildings and vehicles.
The ruling requires the current operators of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, Jeff and Lauren Lowe, to leave and remove all animals within 120 days. The park recently reopened to the public after a coronavirus-related shutdown.
On top of winning lawsuits, Carole Baskin is also now selling “Hey all you cool cats and kittens” face masks.
This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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