Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

'Tiger King': Carole Baskin now owns Joe Exotic's Oklahoma zoo

The two shared a fierce rivalry that was documented in the hit Netflix show

‘Tiger King’ star Carole Baskin now has ownership of rival Joe Exotic’s old zoo in Oklahoma. Netflix 
‘Tiger King’ star Carole Baskin now has ownership of rival Joe Exotic’s old zoo in Oklahoma. Netflix 

Joe Exotic’s former zoo in Oklahoma has a new owner, and he probably won’t be too happy about it.

That’s because it’s now under the control of his rival, Carole Baskin.

The surreal story of Exotic – a mullet-wearing private zoo owner now in jail – has become a cultural phenomenon following the release of the hit Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

Tiger King was reportedly watched 34 million times in 10 days after its release in March, as the world went under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When he was first sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in trying to hire a hitman to kill Baskin, possession of the zoo first went to Exotic’s business partner Jeff Lowe.

But when Exotic failed to pay Baskin the $1 million (Dh3.67m) he owed after she won a trademark infringement lawsuit against him, an Oklahoma judge ruled Baskin should gain control of the zoo instead. It means she will get control of about 6.5 hectares of land housing an array of big cats. The judgment also awarded several cabins and vehicles to Baskin, court records show.

In the series, Baskin was a vocal critic of Exotic’s animal park, with her contrasting view of how to care for tigers and other wild animals providing much of the plot line for the show.

Court documents say Lowe now has 120 days to vacate the zoo, which he had renamed Tiger King Park, and to remove all of his animals.

Tiger King was an instant hit when it made its debut on Netflix in March. Its popularity prompted the filming of a bonus episode featuring a few of the central characters (Baskin declined to participate.) Only last month, it was announced the show had inspired an eight-episode drama series starring Nicolas Cage as Exotic.

Updated: June 2, 2020 08:43 PM

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