This is why Netflix Tiger King Joe Exotic was forced to hand over his big cat zoo to Carole Baskin

The latest updates about the tale of the Tiger King (Photo: Netflix)The latest updates about the tale of the Tiger King (Photo: Netflix)
The latest updates about the tale of the Tiger King (Photo: Netflix)

Tiger King has been one of the most talked about documentaries of the year, with 64 million Netflix households watching it in its first month of release.

The story of Joe Exotic, his private big cat zoo, and his plot to kill his nemesis Carole Baskin, owner of Big Cat Rescue, captivated audiences around the world.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The series closed with Exotic in prison on two counts of murder-for-hire, as well as a slew of offences against animals, while doubt was left hanging over Baskin’s involvement in the death of her late husband.

So what happened next? The latest news is that Joe’s zoo has been handed over to Baskin - here’s what you need to know.

What happened in Tiger King?

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness was one of the most talked about Netflix series from earlier this year.

The series explores the world of big cat owners and enthusiasts - specifically the lives of Joe Exotic and his rival Carole Baskin.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The series follows the life of Exotic, from starting his zoo, getting married and even a political campaign, as well as his relationship with Baskin.

The documentary ended with Exotic in prison for animal abuse and plotting to murder Baskin.

Why did Carole Baskin get ownership of Joe Exotic’s zoo?

Joe Exotic had previously transferred the park to his former business partner, Jeff Lowe, and his mother several years ago in an attempt to keep it from being claimed by those he owed money to.

Baskin sued Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage), stating that the zoo had been illegally transferred to Lowe and Shirley Schreibvogel (Exotic’s mother) to prevent it from being seized by his creditors, Baskin included.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Baskin owns Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary dedicated to caring for abused and abandoned big cats.

According to documents which have been posted online, US District Judge Scott L Palk found that the transfer had been made to “remove [the zoo] from the reach of Big Cat Rescue”.

This claim was held up in court, which resulted in the zoo being granted to Baskin.

Exotic had been ordered to pay Baskin $1 million (circa £800,000) for copyright infringement, because he had used logos that resembled those of Big Cat Rescue.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Instead, Exotic has granted Baskin control of the land in lieu of payment.

What will happen to Jeff Lowe?

According to court reports, Lowe, who currently runs the zoo - which he renamed Tiger King Park - has 120 days to vacate the premises and remove all the animals.

Speaking to TMZ, Lowe said that he and his wife had “long anticipated that the judge would eventually undo the 2016 land transfer”.

Lowe said: “We are thankful we dragged out his decision this long and allowed us time to complete the new Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma, behind the world’s largest casino.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Considering [Carole] spent approximately $2.5 million chasing her $1 million judgement, we congratulate her on her new acquisition of 16 acres in rural Oklahoma.”

He added: “The possibility of human remains being buried on this land should make her feel right at home.”

Why is Joe Exotic in jail?

Joe Exotic is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for 17 counts of animal abuse and for plotting to have his rival Carole Baskin killed.

The murder plot is covered in the Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

The series was released in March on Netflix, and garnered so much attention that a TV miniseries is in the works, with Nicolas Cage signed up to play Joe Exotic himself.

Related topics: