According to the Daily Mail, hundreds of fans showed up to the Oklahoma zoo once owned by Joe Exotic to get their chance to see cast members of the Netflix hit up close.
The droves of people stood in line as they waited to enter the now-famous Tiger King Park, formerly known as the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, OK. The zoo rose to fame on the hit Netflix docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.
The zoo had its doors shut due to the state’s coronavirus pandemic restrictions, but were allowed to reopen after May 1, as long as workers and visitors followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s sanitation and social distancing protocols.
Photos by the Daily Mail show those protocols weren’t exactly followed, as many visitors chose to not wear face masks and crowded around each other to get close to the park’s tigers and lions.
Small children and adults were seen sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in a tight circle as they waited for their turn to play with tiger cubs.
The employees of Tiger King Park also seemed to ignore protocol as well, working without face masks and handing small cubs to visitors without any sanitization efforts.
The zoo’s new owner, Jeff Lowe, and head zookeeper, Erik Cowie — who both appear in the Netflix series — were seen without masks and in close quarters with fans in photos. Cowie seemed to be less than six feet away from guests while showing the animals off, and Lowe — along with his wife, Lauren — were seen greeting visitors and taking selfies with them.
The hit series focused on former zoo owner Joe Exotic, who is currently serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison for hiring a hit-man, Allen Glover, to kill his arch-nemesis, Carole Baskin, a wildlife sanctuary owner in Florida. He was also hit with more than a dozen wildlife violations, including killing five tigers.
Exotic brought in Lowe to help his business and — once Exotic ended up in jail — Lowe and his family took over ownership.
Glover, who was seen in the series confessing that Exotic hired him to murder Baskin, also made an appearance at the animal park. In a previous interview with the Daily Mail, Glover said he only took the $3,000 that Exotic paid him to escape Oklahoma and get away from him, who he claimed he “hated.”
Glover then testified against Exotic during his trial. He also told an interviewer he thought Exotic “wouldn’t last long in prison.”
“He’s not going to ever set foot alive outside of prison again, he won’t do his full sentence, I give him five years at most before he’s dead.” Glover said.