Tiger King zoo shut down after animal treatment investigation

Yvonne O'Halloran

Oklahoma-based GW Exotic Animal Park, which gained much notoriety after Netflix released its Tiger King documentary, has officially been shut down by the United States Department of Agriculture. Following the park’s and its former owner Joe Exotic’s rise in popularity, the USDA found multiple animal welfare violations. As a result, the department suspended the zoo’s license.

After the documentary was released in March, the Humane Society of the United States, released footage showing the world the animal abuse that has taken place at the zoo. This isn’t the first time the HSUS tried to reveal the cruelty behind big-cat trades. Back in 2011, a HSUS investigator found that workers at the GW Exotic Animal Park, including Joe Exotic, routinely abused animals. This abuse included punching tigers in the face and dragging them by their necks and tails.

PETA also advocated for the USDA to confiscate the animals found at the zoo after images showing young lions with injuries was released.

Joe Exotic is currently serving a prison sentence for wildlife violations and a murder-for-hire plot. Upon his imprisonment, Jeffrey Lowe, who is also featured in the Netflix documentary, took over as owner. However, with the zoo’s closure, Lowe has also forfeited his USDA animal exhibition license.

Article written by Tessa Altman- United States

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