Carole Baskin Wins ‘Tiger King’ Star Joe Exotic’s Oklahoma Zoo
As documented in the Netflix series Tiger King, Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, and Baskin have been at each other’s throats for years. On Monday, a judge ruled in favor of Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue Corporation in a lawsuit against Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Development Group, allowing her to take over about 16 acres of land in Garvin County, Oklahoma along with many big cats.
The court order stated the Greater Wynnewood Development Group must, “vacate the Zoo Land premises within 120 days of service of this Order …Vacation of premises shall also require removal of all zoo animals from the Zoo Land.” In addition to this, the court order gave Baskin ownership of cabins and other vehicles.
The lawsuit between the two parties included Baskin accusing Exotic of animal abuse while Exotic claimed that Baksin was just trying to ruin his business by using an online campaign on social media and her YouTube channel.
The two big cat owners have had a long history of conflict. Last year, Exotic was convicted for murder for hire and other animal abuse charges, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Exotic allegedly tried to pay a hit man $3,000 to kill Baskin. Documents also alleged that Exotic shot and killed five tigers, sold baby lemurs and falsified legal documents to say they were adopted.
In 2011, Baskin sued Exotic for trademark infringement. Baskin won and Exotic was ordered to pay her $1 million. However, in 2016, Baskin believed that Exotic had put his zoo in his mother’s name in order to evade creditors.
The current owner of the zoo, Jeff Lowe, who was also featured on Tiger King, was shown to have his own issues with Exotic. Lowe’s attorney told CNN, “We anticipated Carol Baskin getting the title to the former park that once belonged to Joe Exotic, and we did not challenge her attempts to do so. All of Jeff’s focus is on opening the new Tiger King Park in Thackerville, (Oklahoma), which should be opening in the next 120 days.”