When Tiger King, a documentary about a man and his love for wild cats and having more than one husband, was released on Netflix it became the talk of the town.
More than 30 million people watched “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” in the first ten days of its release, and that was just viewers in the U.S.
We were all glued to the bizarre world that Joe Exotic had created in the private Oklahoma zoo he ran with his three husbands and staff who were just as eccentric as he was.
And if wild animals, polygamy and guns wasn’t enough to keep us watching his obsession with rival Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin was an ongoing battle he revealed on a daily basis to his online audience.
But now in a shocking plot twist Carole Baskin has been awarded ownership of Joe Exotic’s zoo after a court ruled the zoo must be vacated in 120 days and control must be handed over to Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin in addition to 17 other wildlife charges.
According to court documents, a judge in Oklahoma found that Joe Exotic, fraudulently transferred his properties to his mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel, to avoid paying Baskin the $1 million that had been ordered.
Baskin is now in control of about 16 acres of land that houses a number of big cats, an animal park, and several cars and cabins that formerly belonged to Maldonado-Passage, BuzzFeed News reports.
Big Cat Rescue, Baskin’s organization, posted a statement on its website saying the current tenant announced plans to move the animals to another location in Oklahoma “that he claims will be a better facility.” But Baskin’s organization has also offered to help find the animals new homes, the statement said.
“If the need arises to make other plans to place the animals in new homes, Big Cat Rescue and the animal welfare organizations that have previously successfully placed big cats from large facilities in new homes stand ready to assist,” the statement added.
So many of us wondered what would happen to these wild animals who seemed so crowded in their cages, some shown to pace up and down.
I hope this latest ruling will ensure these tigers, who were born in captivity and can’t be released into the wild, will ensure they have the best possible life available to them.