(TMU) – It seems like it’s been ages since the Netflix docu-series Tiger King enthralled audiences across the U.S. with its wild reality-TV tales of “murder, mayhem, and madness,” and a bizarre cast of characters like nothing we had ever seen.
And now, the colorful saga continues as the zoo formerly owned and operated by Joe Exotic – the eccentric star of the smash-hit Netflix documentary – is being handed over to his mortal enemy, whom he was convicted of trying to have killed.
That’s right. No less than Carole Baskin herself will soon be picking up the reins of the infamous G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently in prison on 17 counts of animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin, whom he attempted to have murdered by a contract killer for $3,000. He is currently serving a sentence of 22 years.
While the exotic animal park had been under the control of Jeff Lowe in recent years, a federal court has ruled that Lowe now has 120 days to vacate the premises, including all of his animals who are currently residing at the G.W. Zoo.
The ruling found that years ago, the notorious zoo was fraudulently transferred to the mother of Joe Exotic and must now be handed to Baskin and her Big Cat Rescue corporation.
It’s just the latest bizarre twist in the utterly crazy world of big cats that we dove into back in April, when we were treated to the insane story of Joe Exotic and his seething rivalry with Baskin, who owned an animal sanctuary in Florida.
The competition between the two reached ludicrous levels of pettiness, with Joe Exotic making music videos about his arch-rival Carole Baskin allegedly killing her deceased former husband Jack “Don” Lewis and feeding his remains to her beloved tigers. The self-styled conservationist denies the bitter accusations.
In a complaint filed in February 2016, Baskin’s company sued Exotic’s mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel, alleging that the transfer of the G.W. Zoo was fraudulent. The complaint said:
“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 eccentric and openly gay Joe Exotic hoarded roughly 225 tigers and subjected them to various degrees of abuse and neglect. However, his cultural impact was such that he remains highly quoted and actor Nicolas Cage has already signed on to star in a new scripted television series retelling the Tiger King’s saga.
In March, director Eric Goode told Entertainment Weekly that Joe Exotic’s former zoo remained open under the management of Lowe, but that it was “basically operating on fumes.”
“I’m sure that due to the coronavirus, no one’s going,” Goode said. “I suspect he’s at a point where he’s probably got to put down animals, left to right, just to be able to feed the ones that he can’t.”
“No one is going now and there’s no source of income, and that’s been going on for a long time,” he continued. “It’s not something that has just happened because of what’s happening in the world today.”
Joe Exotic is currently staying at Dallas-Fort Worth medical center after he was exposed to COVID-19.
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