Florida's Big Cat CEO Carole Baskin will take over Joe Exotic's tiger zoo


  • Screenshot via Netflix

Carole Baskin will soon own Joe Exotic’s tiger zoo.

A federal judge ruled Monday that the 16-acre Oklahoma property containing the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park formerly owned by Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is to be handed over to his rival Baskin.

The exotic zoo will become property of Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue in Tampa.

Exotic, has been involved in a series of lawsuits and long standing rivalry with Baskin for years, which was a major subject of interest in the Netflix hit documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence for plotting to have Baskin murdered, the killing of five tigers and several other wildlife violations.

After Baskin was awarded $1 million in a trademark infringement lawsuit against Exotic in 2013, ownership of the zoo was granted to Exotic’s late mother, Shirley Schreibvogel. Three years later, Big Cat Rescue sued Schreibvogel.

Judge Scott L. Palk, the same judge who presided over Exotic’s criminal case, ruled the transfer to Schreibvogel was fraudulent in Monday’s ruling, effectively granting the rescue ownership of Exotic’s zoo and several on-property buildings and vehicles.

The ruling requires the current operators of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, Jeff and Lauren Lowe, to leave and remove all animals within 120 days. The park recently reopened to the public after a coronavirus-related shutdown.

On top of winning lawsuits, Carole Baskin is also now selling “Hey all you cool cats and kittens” face masks.

This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.