Tiger King zoo permanently closed Aug 17, forfeits license

By Tribute on August 20, 2020 | 12 Comments

Tiger King's Jeff Lowe and his wife LaurenThe Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is officially closed for good. The park was featured on the hit Netflix show Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

Owner Jeff Lowe, who took over the zoo from Joe Exotic, confirmed the news in a Facebook post saying he was voluntarily forfeiting his USDA license.

This comes after the U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended Lowe’s license for 21 days on August 17, 2020.

“The very agency that has given my facility five consecutive perfect inspections, has now folded to the pressures of PETA and continue to make false accusations against me,” Lowe said in the post.

He goes on saying, “Rest assured that all the animals will continue to have excellent care, and consequently will no longer be subject to USDA inspections or PETA spies.”

The location was previously closed during the spring due to the pandemic but reopened to visitors in May. Lowe says their new park in Thackerville, Oklahoma will instead be a private film set for Tiger King content.

Back in May, a federal judge granted ownership of the park to Carole Baskin, Lowe and Exotic’s rival. The judge said Exotic had fraudulently transferred ownership of the zoo to his mother to avoid paying a civil judgement to Baskin on a previous lawsuit.

Baskin responded to the zoo closure in her own Facebook post saying she doesn’t know what is going to happen to the animals at the Greater Wynnewood facility.

“I know everyone is going to bombard me with the question we all want answered; “What about the animals?” and we don’t know yet what will happen but will alert you the minute we do.” ~Brie Davis

Comments & Discussion

  1. Jake • August 20, 2020 @ 11:02 AM

    Good, all private zoos should be closed. They are nothing but places for animals to be abused. Just like all circuses. Animals aren’t born for our entertainment, if you want to be entertained, find a person. There are plenty of humans who want to be the center of attention.

  2. Sarah • August 20, 2020 @ 1:40 PM

    This is a good thing. I hope all the animals are taken good care of.

  3. Jenna • August 20, 2020 @ 3:00 PM

    Good. This guy was just in it for the money anyways. He just forfeited his license so he wouldn’t look bad having it suspended.

  4. Terry • August 20, 2020 @ 4:25 PM

    I agree with all current comments. Animals are not meant for caging & circus entertainment. They, and their deserved freedom are to be respected.

  5. Mary • August 20, 2020 @ 6:53 PM

    I heard about the show, didn’t know why it was popular, but if it sheds light on animals being abused in these so-called zoos and they are now being shut down, then at least something good came out of it.

  6. Mike • August 21, 2020 @ 1:01 AM

    Chew on this…

    Before I start, I want people to know I’m personally opposed to the idea of caging animals… especially wild animals who aren’t designed for domestic life. I don’t even like to put my little dog on a leash, but I’m often forced to because he lives in the city, where dogs would not live if they were a part of nature… but we created the dog, over time, out of wolves and potentially a few other things that we slowly fed and bred into another species… one could say the dog is in it’s natural environment in a house or on a leash, but that’s not even my point… Big cats most certainly aren’t… so don’t mistake this for support of the idea, it’s not. It’s something else I want to shine a light on.

    There are a lot of things I don’t know. I don’t know what it’s like to be a doctor. I’ve met them, been examined by them, saw them on tv… I’ve done a tiny bit of acting, and I believe could come up with a reasonable portrayal of what their life is like that might satisfy the average person… but not a doctor… a doctor is going to easily see holes in my perspective… they’re going to effortlessly find the discrepancies between my interpretation and lack of education, and the reality they live that will reveal me as a fake… to them.

    I don’t know what it’s like to be a pilot… I could guess, but no. I don’t know what it’s like to be rich, or to be starving. I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman, a black man, someone who is transgender… people living their lives know about what they’re living and anyone not living a similar life can only guess, and I believe they would usually guess wrong.

    I think most people get this idea… everyone does something that they care about enough to become a little better at, and more knowledgeable about than the average joe with little interest could. What do you do, or love to learn about? Have you talked to people with no interest in that topic about it? Did they get it? Did you have to dumb it down?

    I’m a bass player. I toured for 20+ years and could write a paper on the differences between the way I expected it to be as a kid, and the way I learned it actually was. When I see movies about musicians, I have to work hard to suspend my disbelief, because I can see every little wrong thing they do. My friends who don’t play rarely see the differences and would get annoyed at me pointing them out, but to me, a lot of those movies were nearly unwatchable…. the Jimi Hendrix movies with no Jimi Hendrix music!… WTF?!?!?!… People should be ashamed!

    But getting back to the things I know nothing about… one of them is the experience of being a zoo owner. I don’t condone it, and in my imagined idea of what it’s like, I hate the idea and can’t support it… but I am not in a position to damn it, either. I’m not in a position to understand it enough to know what I would do having had the experiences that led them to it. I simply don’t know the hows and the why’s and the what-changed-my-minds that someone living it would experience. I can only imagine… and most likely, imagine wrong.

    Someday it will be considered cruel that we leash and entrap our pets. We may merge with AI, and bring them along for the ride, evolving them even further than we already have into something we have deeper conversations with. They may find way to express their discomfort with our practices, and if we’re moral at all, we’ll listen… but right now, no one has an issue with leashing a dog so they can fit better into our world.

    I don’t support the idea of keeping these animals caged, not even a little, but I also don’t know enough about the industry to know what’s best, especially for animals who have bveen indoctrinated, several generations in, to caged living. I don’t have the knowledge to have the right to attack these people.

    This is the issue with cancel culture… armchair experts forcing their uneducated will upon whomever falls out of favour in the media or social media, and really, doing it for nothing more than the theatrics of looking moral or thinking their mighty word has changed the world. You know, there are organizations out there looking for support to shut down zoo’s, I’d bet my life on it. You should research that and send them some money… but you’re totally not going to, are you?.. you’ve done your part complaining on the internet, that oughta do it… now those animals are all safe thanks to you!

    I’ve never watched that POS show on netflix, not one episode, not even an ad!.. but I’m pretty confident that those who have watched it are no more educated about the topic than the average marvel fan is about being an actual hero… (see soldiers, good cops, fire fighters, social workers, etc… they don’t wear very colourful suits and can’t fly… just so you know).

    Anyways, my 2 cents… filled with typos, fuzzy logic, and assumptions… making it pretty hypocritical as well… but I still think I’m right about this… we shouldn’t be forming heavy opinions on what someone else should be doing with their lives if we ourselves know nothing about it…. and watching this trash TV does not make you an expert on the topic.

    …go on now and rip it to shreds as I get on with life and ignore the responses.

  7. Marce • August 21, 2020 @ 6:54 AM

    I am on the side of the animals.. Let them live their life in freedom, the way they should!

  8. Barbara Muszik • August 21, 2020 @ 9:26 AM

    NOW go after Carol Baskin who has been accused of doing something to her husband and got away with it!! I will never watch the Tiger King as it is full of everyone lying!! My daughter watched it and she said it was sickening.Yet Carol Baskin was on a newspiece selling singing Happy Birthday diddys for $299.00!! What a joke and the news media is lapping it up!! How can anyone promote such trash??

  9. Terry • August 21, 2020 @ 11:38 AM

    Mike, you said you’d ignore responses but I’m inclined to think you just might. I found your comments to be insightful and inspiring. Thank you for the dose of reality regarding how quick we, as a society, jump on board to condemn people or issues we know nothing about. I agree that there will come a reckoning in the future about how in current times we condoned caging our beloved pets.

  10. Debby Johnson • August 21, 2020 @ 7:40 PM

    Animals have a place in our lives, wild or pets.
    I led 4H animal clubs for 10 years. Each year the children would do a project with their animal. The teaching included diet, exercise/training/breeding, hands on care of the animal and handling techniques.
    Often the children did a presentation about their animal and it’s care etc which included public speaking, photography etc..
    It was a great program and offered education and fun for the children.
    Each summer at a local fair we presented animals for the public, all ages to come and visit the animals. For many people all ages this was their only contact with an animal to hold, pet, feed. Etc.
    It was a very sad day for our local 4H club when we were shut down by the animal rights people.
    Our animals we always well cared for and protected from harm by the visitors. But we were closed down by humans who had never cared for an animal or had to be responsible for their feeding, grooming etc everyday.
    Our cities are getting larger and wild animal habitat is being lost daily. Perhaps a year with 4H training could enlighten more adults about how the wild world lives with human traffic in their space.

  11. Carmen • August 22, 2020 @ 3:19 AM

    Everyone wants zoos shut down but then where would all of the animals go? They can’t be returned to the wild, they won’t know how to hunt and fend for themselves. Many animals that are in zoos are rescues that can no longer live in the wild for whatever reason. If zoos get shut down these animals may be euthanized, so be careful what you wish for.

  12. Stefan • August 24, 2020 @ 9:17 AM

    They’re not going to be euthanized. That happens to stray dogs and cats but not zoo animals. They are released to sanctuaries, where they live in habitats that are similar to what they would have lived in, in nature. Except that they are fed and monitored and given veterinarian care when needed. And hopefully, some reproduce because these animals are dwindling in numbers thanks to people thinking they’re there only for our use (and abuse).

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