Wayne Newton sold his animals — the penguin, the two-fingered sloth, the more than 150 lovebirds — all in an effort to keep his shaky finances afloat.
A Nevada bankruptcy judge ordered Newton to sell of his collection of exotic animals to an Oregon wildlife center. Though Newton collected more than 280 rare animals, he only got $27,300 for all of them, which amounts to less than $100 per animal.
Unfortunately, Wayne Newton went bankrupt at a time when there are a lot of exotic animals on the market, said Jasmine Bigbee, manager of the estate’s wildlife center.
A closer look shows that Wayne Newton’s animals were sold at a huge loss. The Las Vegas Review-Journal found that the entertainer’s estate paid $10,500 in 2010 for a single penguin, but today the same type of penguin is being sold for $1,000.
“The rate of new, qualified facilities has not kept up with the propagation activities of the captively held species,” Bigbee wrote in an email to ABC News. Further, the decline in the U.S. economy “has made funds tight for new facilities.”
The buyer of Wayne Newton’s animals, the Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center and Sloth Captive Husbandry Research Center of Rainier, specializes in the two-fingered sloth and has one of the largest collection of them in captivity. Two of Newton’s sloths actually came from the Oregon center to begin with.
“We are absolutely ecstatic to be getting them back,” one staffer told ABC News.
Wayne Newton’s animals are expected to be transferred to the Oregon center in June.
The entertainer has been going through a rough financial patch recently, and Wayne Newton to give up his plush estate as part of the bankruptcy process.
The sale of his exotic creatures to the Oregon center is not the first time that Wayne Newton had animals play a part in his financial troubles. When he had to sell is mansion in Las Vegas, the entertainer’s Arabain horses put a hitch in the deal. They apparently had grazing rights to the property, which made it difficult to complete its sale.