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Carole Baskin Now Owns Joe Exotic's Zoo, But There's A Catch

By Kristy Puchko | TV | June 2, 2020 |

By Kristy Puchko | TV | June 2, 2020 |


A new chapter of the Tiger King has just begun. Maligned conservationist Carole Baskin has been awarded the zoo formerly owned by Joseph Maldonado-Passage, A.K.A. Joe Exotic.

The G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, was at the center of the pair’s long and wild feud, which was detailed in the Netflix docu-series Tiger King and the podcast Joe Exotic. As head of Big Cat Rescue, Baskin was on a crusade to bring down Maldonado-Passage’s zoo and touring tiger cub petting sessions because she feared for the animals in both. The doc series proved she had reason to worry. Maldonado-Passage was blase about safety on his park, which endangered the animals and staff, including one employee who was brutally maimed. He also fed spoiled meat that had been abandoned in Wal-Mart dumpsters to the animals in his care as well as his staff. Maldonado-Passage is currently serving time for 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of murder for hire for trying to have a hitman kill Baskin. But none of this is why she has been granted his zoo.

Baskin was awarded the zoo because of Maldonado-Passage’s failure to pay up the $1 million settlement he owed her over trademark lawsuits. Viewers might remember that at the end of the Netflix series, G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park no longer belonged to Maldonado-Passage, but had been bought by his former business partner and alleged accomplice Jeff Lowe. Baskin sued, claiming the sale was made solely to cheat her from getting her due from the trademark lawsuit. An Oklahoma judge agreed, ruling in her favor, granting Baskin the 16 acres of land in Garvin County, Oklahoma.

However, she won’t be getting the animals who currently reside there. Those will still belong to Lowe. He has 120 days to vacate the collection of tigers, lions, and more from the premises of the animal park he’d renamed Zoo Land. Where will they go? Probably the new zoo that Lowe had his lawyer name drop while commenting on the settlement.

“We anticipated Carole Baskin getting the title to the former park that once belonged to Joe Exotic, and we did not challenge her attempts to do so. All of Jeff’s focus is on opening the new Tiger King Park in Thackerville, (Oklahoma), which should be opening in the next 120 days.”

Yeah. Lowe’s new park is named for the Netflix series that paints him as a creep and a criminal. It seems likely that this park could be the new focus of Baskin’s animal activism. At present, she has not commented on the news of the settlement.

Sources: CNN, People, The Guardian

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Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Netflix