The former zoo of Netflix sensation Joe Exotic has closed its doors to the public forever.
The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, the zoo from 'Tiger King' which featured prominently in the docu-series, has had its license suspended.
The Oklahoma park was under management from Jeff Lowe, due to his former colleague Joe Exotic currently serving a 22-year prison sentence. Carole Baskin and her Big Cat Rescue was supposedly due to take over the 16-acre grounds, but the fallout from this now remains unknown.
In a statement, which has since been removed from Facebook, Lowe explained that the zoo would be closed "effective immediately", forfeiting his USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) exhibitors license. He blamed the success of the Netflix series - and PETA - as to the reason the park has to close:
'The Tiger King' phenomenon has definitely changed our lives in many ways. It has brought us more attention than any human deserves, good and bad. It has, and probably will continue to make us a target of every nutjob and animal rights loon in the world, but we are prepared.
It has also provided us with an unfathomable source of income. Income that will guarantee the long term care of our animals and allow us to be very selective going forward.
The very agency that has given my facility five consecutive perfect inspections has now folded to the pressures of PETA and continue to make false accusations against me. In the state of Oklahoma, exotic animal ownership is perfectly legal. Rest assured that all the animals will continue to have excellent care, and consequently will no longer be subject to USDA inspections or PETA spies.
PETA has since released their own statement following the zoo from 'Tiger King' shutting its doors, stating that their wish to have these "long-suffering animals" in more appropriate facilities now might happen. The organisation said: "Jeff Lowe’s license has been suspended, a permanent revocation should be next, and his tiger-terrorizing days may soon be over.
"PETA looks forward to seeing every one of the long-suffering animals at the G.W. Zoo be transferred to an appropriate facility where it won’t take federal intervention for a sick cat to receive veterinary care."
Lowe concluded his statement by claiming that the site will now be used for future "television content". With a second season of the Netflix docu-series reportedly in the works, as well as a scripted series/movie, this will most likely be the set of future instalments in the 'Tiger King' franchise.
Via ABC Tulsa.