Hey all you cool cats and kittens, there’s a new chapter in the Joe Exotic saga—Carole Baskin is now set to take over Joe’s zoo.
As fans of the Netflix docuseries Tiger King may recall, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison when he was convicted on two counts of murder-for-hire and 17 wildlife charges, including killing five tigers.
Their complicated association arose as Baskin, owner of the Big Cat Rescue organization, repeatedly called out Maldonado-Passage for his alleged mistreatment of tiger cubs and the abuse of the animals kept at his G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. Exotic retaliated with a string of threatening videos targeting her with rumors, which she consistently denied.
As their lawsuits continued and Maldonado-Passage’s debts mounted after losing a case over the use of Big Cat Rescue’s trademark, he gave the park to his mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel, while Maldonado-Passage’s partner of sorts, Jeff Lowe, operated it.
A legal team representing Baskin and Big Cat Rescue filed a complaint back in February 2016, alleging that the transfer of the Oklahoma zoo property was fraudulent, undertaken only as a means of keeping it out of the reach of creditors. On Monday, a federal judge determined that the property was fraudulently transferred to Maldonado-Passage’s mother, Fox 25, an Oklahoma Fox news affiliate, reported Monday.
The determination means that as Maldonado-Passage is incarcerated, Baskin and her 28-year old animal rescue group, have been granted control of his former Oklahoma zoo, a development sure to interest Tiger King fans. Now, Lowe has 120 days to vacate the premises, and find a new home for of his animals currently residing there, according to a copy of the ruling published by the Courthouse News Service via People.
Maldonado-Passage, is currently being held at a Dallas-Fort Worth medical center after he was exposed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Fox 25 reported.