Animal rights activists and government inspectors have shut down the private wildcat zoo at the centre of the Netflix series “Tiger King.”
In a post, the current owner of the Greater Wynewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma said the pressure was too much.
“As of today, we have decided to close the old zoo effective immediately,” Jeff Lowe, the current owner of the Greater Wynewood Exotic Animal Park wrote in a Facebook post.
Lowe wrote on the zoo’s site that he no longer wants to exhibit animals to the public and the move have been contemplated for weeks. Government inspectors suspended his licence for 21 days but Lowe said he could start up again on day 22 if he wanted to.
I don’t want to. The animals are now in private hands and will remain in private hands.
Lowe said he is voluntarily forfeiting his licence. The collection of lions and tigers would continue to have “excellent care” he wrote. He did not specify where the animals will go.
Lowe took over ownership of the Wynewood park after Joe Exotic, his partner, was convicted. In June, a judge in Oklahoma City handed control of the zoo to Exotic’s rival Carole Baskin as part of a long-running dispute but Lowe was given time to wind down operations.
Lowe wrote that the Netflix Inc series had provided “an unfathomable source of income” for the zoo but had also made it “the target of every nutjob and animal rights loon in the world.”
“Tiger King,” which Netflix said was watched by more than 34 million people in its first 10 days on the platform, is in the running for six Emmy awards, including best documentary series, ahead of a ceremony in September
“Tiger King,” the true crime series set in the world of private zoos and their eccentric owners, became a worldwide phenomenon when it was aired in March.
It told the story of flamboyant Oklahoma zoo keeper Joe Exotic, his rivalry with Florida big cat rescue activist Carole Baskin and his imprisonment for hiring a hitman to try to kill her.