The zoo made famous by Netflix docu-series Tiger King is officially closed to the public according to an announcement made by its current owner, Jeff Lowe.
The owner of what’s now called the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, who gained notoriety as Joe Exotic’s nemesis in the series, the zoo is now closed to the public “effective immediately” and that he has now forfeited his USDA exhibitors license.
Posting to the park’s Facebook page, Lowe explained that he would be forfeiting his license after the USDA “folded to the pressures of PETA and continue to make false accusations against me.”
“Suspiciously, less than 24 hours after I contacted the USDA to voluntarily forfeit my license, they notify me that they are suspending my license for 21 days for a litany of falsehoods,” Lowe wrote.
“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.”
“Our new park will, at least for the foreseeable future, be a private film set for Tiger King related television content for cable and streaming services. this was, in fact, a decision that we made more than a month ago and was the huge news that we spoke about on Facebook a couple weeks ago,” Lowe wrote.
Lowe also described the way in which the insane popularity of Tiger King has changed the life of his family.
“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.”
He continued to say that the park has “provided us with an unfathomable source of income … that will guarantee the long-term care of our animals and allow us to be very selective going forward.”
“So, thanks to all the people who have visited the Wynnewood Zoo over the years. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Lowe added. “Effective immediately, we are closed to the public.”
It comes following news earlier this year that a federal judge in Oklahoma awarded ownership of the zoo to Carole Baskin, with Lowe saying he wasn’t overly surprised by the decision.
“I expected it a year ago,” Lowe said. “We knew that the writing was on the wall.”