Yep, Carole Baskin has won control of Joe Exotic‘s former zoo. For a moment there, I forgot Netflix’s Tiger King was ever a thing.
As you will no doubt remember, Exotic – real name Joe Maldonado-Passage – is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for attempting to hire a man to kill his longtime rival Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue. He is also guilty of eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.
As reported by Courthouse News, Exotic’s former zoo will be handed over to Big Cat Rescue in lieu of almost USD$1 million dollars. Back in 2013, Exotic was ordered to pay Big Cat Rescue the big bucks to resolve that whole trademark infringement lawsuit drama. But Exotic never got around to coughing up the money. Re, the trademark: Exotic changed the design of his former zoo logo to something very similar to Baskin’s… just to piss her off. This bit featured in the Netflix documentary.
Big Cat Rescue also successfully proved to a US District judge in Oklahoma City that Exotic fraudulently transferred the zoo to his mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel, in 2011 in an attempt to keep the zoo out of the reach of creditors if he lost the long-running legal battle with Baskin.
“Schreibvogel later admitted under oath that the zoo land was transferred to her by Joe Maldonado to remove it from the reach of creditors, including BCR, should BCR win its Florida lawsuit,” the complaint said.
As you will already know, the G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood is currently managed by Jeff Lowe. The ruling, published by Courthouse News, says Lowe has 120 days to vacate the premises, including all of his animals currently living there.
As part of the judgement, Big Cat Rescue was also awarded control of a number of cars and cabins on the property.
As Joe Exotic would say, he is “never gonna financially recover from this”.