UPDATE: Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, released this statement on Tuesday:
“The judge’s decision finally brings down the curtain on the cruel operation known as GW Exotic. It is justice for Carole Baskin and accredited sanctuaries that put animal welfare first. The Humane Society of the United States urges that the animals at GW be transferred to proper sanctuaries so that they will never suffer again at the hands of unqualified hucksters like Jeff Lowe and Joe Exotic who kept and exploited these abused animals in substandard filthy conditions.”
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) - A federal judge in the western district court of Oklahoma issued a judgment today in a 2016 lawsuit between Big Cat Rescue Corp. and Shirley Schreibvogel.
Schreibvogel was the mother of 'Tiger King' star Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic. Exotic is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for a foiled murder-for-hire plot. Prosecutors say he tried to hire someone to kill Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue Corp.
In a ruling today, Judge Scott Palk ordered the GW Exotic Zoo in Wynnewood, now operated by Jeff Lowe, to vacate its property and hand over control to Big Cat Rescue Corp. Today's ruling gives Lowe 120 days to vacate the property.
All animals must be taken off the 16 acre property as well. Portable buildings on the property and vehicles must also be given over to Big Cat Rescue. The title to the zoo land is ordered to be transferred.
Baskin was awarded the properties after Judge Palk found they were fraudulently transferred by Exotic to his mother to avoid paying her a settlement in a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Baskin and Exotic were made stars in March of 2020 after the Netflix docu-series 'Tiger King' was released.
Exotic remains in a medical center in DFW right now after being exposed to COVID-19 in April. He was previously being held in the Grady County jail awaiting transfer to a federal prison.
A trust will now be created by Big Cat Rescue Corp to gain control of the zoo's land in Wynnewood.