The zoo prominently featured in Netflix's smash-hit docuseries Tiger King has closed its doors permanently for multiple animal welfare violations. Deadline reports that current owner Jeff Lowe, who was among the many eccentric characters featured in the show, confirmed the closure of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park via Facebook.
Lowe revealed that he voluntarily forfeit his USDA exhibitors license, just months after an Oklahoma federal judge granted ownership of the park to Carole Baskin, a rival of both Lowe and Joe Exotic. Lowe accused the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) of bowing to the "pressures of [animal rights group] PETA," and has additionally claimed that the federal executive department had leveled "false accusations" against him.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the park closed its doors for a brief period before later reopening in May. Lowe wrote that in closing the park, which is effective immediately, the animals held there will "no longer be subject to USDA inspections or PETA spies." In a brief response to the news of the zoo's closure, Baskin said that her main concern was the fate of the animals.
Despite the closure of the park, Lowe is still gearing up to open a park at a new location, which he says will be in Thackerville, Oklahoma and will be used as a "private film set for Tiger King related television content for cable and streaming services."