When the Netflix docu-series Tiger King was released in March of 2020, it both captivated and polarized viewers because it shed a new light on the idea of owning and using big cats to attract visitors.
Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin, and Jeff Lowe soon were the main spectacles from the series, and their battle over Oklahoma's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park aka the G.W. Zoo would rage on for months.
On June 2, 2020, it was revealed that Carole had won control over Joe Exotic's zoo, because he had fraudulently transferred it over to his mother. Jeff Lowe later purchased the property.
Is the G.W. Zoo still open? Though the Netflix docu-series wrapped filming long ago, the battle over the zoo has continued. Read on to find out whether or not the G.W. Zoo is currently in operation.
Is the G.W. Zoo still open?
When Tiger King debuted, the G.W. Zoo had been taken over by Jeff Lowe, who got control of the property when Joe was struggling financially with his lawsuits with Carole Baskin.
Per the zoo's official website, WynewoodZoo.com, it is open every day between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., 365 days per year. Tickets for entry into the zoo begin at $15.
Jeff had been referring to the area as Tiger King Park, which is likely because of the success of the docu-series.
Though the park had been closed for several weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic — and during the height of Tiger King's popularity — it reopened in early May of 2020.
Jeff, his wife Lauren, and the alleged would-be hitman Allen Glover were all on hand for appearances when the zoo reopened.
Toward the end of Tiger King, Jeff discussed his plan to re-brand the zoo on a bigger plot of land. As part of this plan, the animal park would be called the Oklahoma Zoo, and the new site would be in Thackerville, Okla.
Jeff didn't confirm what he was going to do with the land that Joe Exotic previously owned when the Oklahoma Zoo opened. But, that decision is no longer his to make.
In a court ruling, Carole Baskin will get control of the G.W. Zoo.
An Oklahoma judge ruled on June 1, 2020 that Joe Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage) fraudulently transferred over The G.W. Exotic Animal Park to his mother, Shirley Schreibvogel and later to Jeff Lowe. Carole Baskin won a $1 million judgment years ago, but was never given any money from it.
Because Joe never paid Carole, she was awarded the 16 acres of land that the zoo sits on. Unfortunately for Jeff Lowe, he has been controlling this land since Joe went to prison.
Jeff has 120 days from the date of the ruling to vacate the land and to remove all of the animals from it.
His attorney, Walter Mosley, said that Jeff had expected the court's ruling in a statement.
"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, which should be opening in the next 120 days," he said.
Carole has yet to make a public statement on the judge's ruling. Based on her sentiments in Tiger King about how Joe treated his tigers and operated the park, the area that was the G.W. Zoo will likely look very different in the future.
Tiger King is available to stream on Netflix.