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Authorities Confiscate 68 Large Cats from Tiger King Park

Credit: Unsplash

When the pandemic started in March 2020, Netflix launched Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. The series told the peculiar story of Joe Exotic, a tiger owner, and his rivalry with wildlife activist Carole Baskin. The show gained immense popularity as people were confined to their homes due to the pandemic. Despite Joe Exotic being in prison, his park continued to operate under Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe, taking advantage of the show’s fame to attract more visitors. However, this increased attention led to scrutiny of their operations and culminated in a recent raid by law enforcement.

Law enforcement officials, armed with a search warrant, seized a total of 68 big cats from the park owned by the Lowes. The animals confiscated included 46 tigers, 15 lion-tiger hybrids, seven lions, and a jaguar, amid allegations of mistreatment and harassment.

The Department of Justice stated, “This seizure should send a clear message that the Justice Department takes alleged harm to captive-bred animals protected under the Endangered Species Act very seriously.” -Jean E. Williams, acting Assistant Attorney General

Although the author of the affidavit remains anonymous, they reported that the animals were subjected to contaminated food, poor living conditions, and inadequate veterinary care. Additionally, park staff allegedly faced verbal and physical abuse from the Lowes, extending even to law enforcement officers executing a previous search warrant.

The affidavit highlighted, “The relentless harassment, intimidation of personnel, and physical obstructions resulted in the creation of an unsafe environment during a high-liability law enforcement activity dealing with the difficult search, seizure and movement of very dangerous wildlife species.”

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