Those who watched Netflix's Tiger King know that now-imprisoned star Joe Exotic ceded control of his zoo to Jeff Lowe in 2016. But now Lowe, too, has lost the Oklahoma property. In an ironic turn of events, a judge granted Carole Baskin ownership of the zoo in June as part of her lawsuit against Exotic's former company, also awarding the Big Cat Rescue owner vehicles and cabins on the premises, per CNN.
Despite the June ruling ordering Lowe to vacate the property within 120 days and remove all zoo animals, he continued operating the renamed Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. It wasn't until August that Lowe permanently closed the park. "The Tiger King phenomenon has definitely changed our lives in many ways," he wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post, per People. "It has, and probably will continue to make us a target of every nutjob and animal rights loon in the World, but we are prepared."
Lowe said at the time that he'd voluntarily forfeited his United States Department of Agriculture exhibitor's license, though a USDA report indicated his license was actually suspended in July following an inspection that found multiple violations including several repeat infractions, People reported.
Baskin offered Big Cat Rescue's aid in re-homing the animals still at the zoo, but Lowe declined, explaining to People that he was relocating them to his new Oklahoma Tiger King Park, which was scheduled to open this month. He also claimed that he and his wife Lauren planned to film a new reality series. "It'll be our narrative on the Tiger King with evidence to support our sides of the stories," Lowe told the magazine in June. "And it will be about the transfer of all these beautiful animals from Joe's facility to the new facility."
At least three of the animals won't be a part of this new venture. PETA spokesperson David Perle confirmed to USA Today on Sept. 21 that a court order authorized them to seize three big cats from Lowe's shuttered zoo. But according to Lowe's attorney, Walter Mosley, neither Lowe nor his animal park owned the animals.
"Mr. Lowe, out of his love for animals, has been caring for these big cats, free of charge, in his facility, simply awaiting for the Indiana courts to determine where they will be placed," he said in a statement to People. "Once we got word where the Court would like the lions to be placed permanently, we happily complied and sent these wonderful cats to Colorado. Mr. Lowe is excited that the lions have a new amazing permanent home."
As for Lowe, he'll be back on TV soon. A Sept. 14 post on the Tiger King Park official Instagram announced that Travel Channel's Ghost Hunters had come to the Greater Wynnewood Zoo to "dig deeper into the hauntings that Joe Exotic left behind." The episode is set to premiere on Thursday, Oct 29.