Carole Baskin will take control of Joe Exotic’s former zoo. In a wild twist that took place in a courtroom, the Tiger King star’s nemesis, whom he allegedly plotted to have killed, has now been awarded the Oklahoma zoo that was featured on the hit Netflix documentary, according to CNN.
On Monday, Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue Corporation won its lawsuit against the Greater Wynnewood Development Group, LLC, which was once owned by Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, and is now owned and managed by his former business partner, Jeff Lowe.
Baskin was given control of the controversial zoo and was awarded several cars and cabins on the property after a federal judge found that the zoo was fraudulently transferred to Joe Exotic’s mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel, nearly a decade ago, per Courthouse News Service. Schreibvogel previously admitted under oath that the zoo land was transferred to her by her son to remove it from the reach of creditors, including Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue, “should BCR win its Florida lawsuit.”
As Baskin gains control of the 16-acre G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, Lowe has 120 days to vacate the property and remove all zoo animals that are currently residing on the premises. The zoo is still open but barely functioning amid the pandemic and other issues.
While Baskin has not publicly commented on her win, an attorney for Lowe told CNN that “it was expected” that Baskin would get the title to Joe Exotic’s former animal park and that attorneys “did not challenge her attempts to do so.” Lowe’s focus is reportedly on his new Tiger King Park, which is expected to open in Thackerville, Oklahoma, later this year.
Baskin’s rivalry with Joe Exotic became front-page news when the Tiger King docuseries debuted on Netflix in March and broke ratings records. The series followed the controversial zoo community and included interviews with big cat enthusiasts Joe Exotic, Baskin, Lowe, Doc Antle, Tim Stark, and more.
In addition to addressing Joe Exotic’s ongoing feud with Baskin — in which she accused the zookeeper of exploiting and abusing animals — the eight-episode Tiger King series documented Exotic’s attempt to hire a hit man to kill Baskin in 2016 and his subsequent conviction for the plot. The series also addressed the mystery behind Baskin’s first husband, Don Lewis, who went missing from the couple’s Florida home in 1997 and has not been seen since.
Joe Exotic is currently serving his jail sentence at Federal Medical Center Fort Worth in Texas.