The drama between two big cat owners portrayed in the Netflix series “Tiger King” apparently concluded Monday, as a federal judge in Oklahoma awarded Joe Exotic’s former zoo to his chief rival.
Carole Baskin, whose feud with Joe Exotic caught the attention of much of the nation in the early days of the current health crisis, is now the owner of his former property in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
Baskin’s Florida-based Big Cat Rescue Corporation group was awarded the property after filing a lawsuit against the Greater Wynnewood Development Group, LLC, Courthouse News reported.
Baskin filed a lawsuit in 2011 accusing Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, of trademark infringement, CNN reported.
In 2013, he was ordered to pay her nearly $1 million.
But Maldonado-Passage was later accused of transferring the title of the property to his mother in order to protect it from creditors.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Scott L. Palk of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma ruled in favor of Baskin in her lawsuit against Greater Wynnewood Development Group and Maldonado-Passage’s mother, seemingly putting an end to the legal feud.
Baskin now owns all of the roughly 16 acres of land in Garvin County, Oklahoma, that was home to a plot to kill her.
In 2019, Maldonado-Passage was sentenced to serve a prison term for attempting to hire a man to travel to Florida and kill Baskin, KOCO-TV reported.
He is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence.
Baskin and Maldonado-Passage were involved in a nearly decade-long spat that began online, before becoming more contentious and ultimately resulting in his arrest.
Maldonado-Passage was also convicted of killing a number of tigers while he owned the Wynnewood zoo.
Victory for Carole Baskin. https://t.co/Mpptpqb3Mz
— CNN (@CNN) June 2, 2020
The Greater Wynnewood Development Group is now owned by a man named Jeff Lowe, who was also featured on the Netflix show.
Lowe came to own the property in Wynnewood after his business partnership with Maldonado-Passage soured.
Lowe is currently in possession of the Wynnewood property, but will surrender it to Baskin.
He told KOCO-TV that he supports Baskin’s legal victory.
“After spending $2.5 million to secure a million-dollar judgement against Joe, we feel that her securing this land is the appropriate outcome,” he said.
“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,” Walter Mosley, an attorney for Lowe, added to CNN.
Lowe was given 120 days to vacate the property and to take all of its exotic animals somewhere else.
He is planning to reopen the zoo near the community of Thackerville, Oklahoma.
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