Carole Baskin via Instagram

‘Tiger King’: Carole Baskin Takes Over Joe Exotic’s Zoo

Netflix, News, Reality TV

People reports that Carole Baskin is taking over Joseph Maldonado-Passage’s (Joe Exotic) zoo, G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park. During court proceedings, the judge finds that the land was fraudulently transferred to the Tiger King’s mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel, years ago. Consequently, in light of this information, on Monday, June 1 the court granted Big Cat Rescue control of the property. The animal park is located in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. CNN reports that the land occupies 16 acres in Garvin County.

According to Wikipedia, the mission of Big Cat Rescue is “to end ownership and trade in the private sector.” Big Cat Rescue says, “Permit systems are not effective at ensuring animal welfare and campaigns for a total ban of private ownership of big cats regardless of keeping conditions.” Big Cat Rescue is part of the International Tiger Coalition. The International Tiger Coalition’s purpose is to stop the trade of tiger parts.

Baskin Wins Joe Exotic’s Zoo In Court

Monday’s court proceedings stem from a suit filed by Big Cat Rescue in February 2016. According to People, this complaint alleges that transferring the zoo to Schreibvogel was fraudulent.  This included BCR (Big Cat Rescue). Additionally, Schreibvogel admits in 2015, “the zoo land was fraudulently transferred to her by Joe Maldonado in 2011 to avoid his creditors.”

Therefore, following Monday’s proceedings, the current operator of the zoo, Jeff Lowe, has 120 days to vacate the premises. Sadly, this includes all of his animals. Luckily, a new animal park is already in the works. However, Tiger King director, Eric Goode tells Entertainment Weekly that, “the zoo under Lowe’s leadership [is] still open, but basically operating on fumes.” Expounding on that, Goode says, “No one is going now and there’s no source of income, and that’s been going on for a long time.” Furthermore, Goode states, “It’s not something that has just happened because of what’s happening in the world today.”

However, an attorney for Lowe tells CNN, “the judgment [is] not unexpected.” He continued,”We anticipated Carole Baskin getting the title to the former park that once belonged to Joe Exotic, and we did not challenge her attempts to do so.” The attorney goes on saying, “All of Jeff’s focus is on opening the new Tiger King Park in Thackerville, (Oklahoma), which should be opening in the next 120 days.”

Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin’s Turmoil Riddled Past

As fans of the Netflix docuseries may remember, Maldonado-Passage allegedly paid a hitman $3,000 to kill Carole Baskin. Furthermore, court documents also allege he shot and killed five tigers, sold baby lemurs, and falsified paperwork. In 2019, a judge found the Tiger King guilty of the charges. He received a sentence of 22 years in prison. Other charges included violations of the Lacey Act for Falsifying wildlife records.

Among a plethora of other things, the documentary chronicles the tumultuous relationship between Maldonado-Passage and Baskin. The feud is on-going between the two. Joe Exotic argues that Baskin “is trying to destroy his business with an online smear campaign in videos she posted on her YouTube page and social media channels,” reports CNN. Also, the news outlet also reports that in 2011, Baskin won a lawsuit for trademark infringement against Maldonado-Passage. As a result of this suit, the court ordered Maldonado-Passage to pay Baskin $1 million.

Fox 25 reports that Joe Exotic is currently in a Dallas-Fort Worth medical center after exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Consequently, Moldonado-Passage filed a lawsuit in March seeking $94 million in damages from various government agencies and his former business partner.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is available to stream on Netflix.  Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue appear in every episode except the finale.  Keep it tuned to TV Shows Ace for more television news.

Samantha Lierer
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