Published Aug 19, 2020It's been just over two months since Joe Exotic said he would "be dead in 2-3 months" in a letter from his prison cell, and while that prediction has yet to ring true, the death knell has rung out for his zoo.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has suspended the exhibitor licence for the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, which had been taken over by Joe Exotic's Tiger King frenemy Jeff Lowe.
As is always the case with these people, the closure of the zoo has been steeped in drama. In one Facebook post from the zoo, Lowe confirmed that the "park will, at least for the foreseeable future, be a private film set for Tiger King related television content for cable and streaming services."
But Lowe added that he had forfeited his USDA exhibitors licence, at which point the USDA decided to suspend the licence "for a litany of falsehoods." In a second post, Lowe said that he was simply suspended for 21 days and could reopen the zoo on the 22nd day if he wanted. The post, strangely, included screenshots of Facebook messages to purported members of the USDA.
Still, many are celebrating the zoo's closure. In a press release, Wayne Pacelle of the Animal Wellness Action group said, "The idea of amassing this many tigers in a roadside zoo, for cub petting and other purposes, is madness. If a tornado or other disaster were to strike this facility, Garvin County would have chaos on its hands. These animals do not belong in backyards, basements and roadside zoos."