Animal abuse was the seedy underbelly not always the focus of the Netflix smash hit Tiger King, but according to reports the former animal preserve for the imprisoned Joe Exotic was raided by federal authorities.
Exotic, the star of Tiger King who is still in jail as a result of a murder-for-hire plot, is seeking a pardon for his crimes. But another person involved in the show, who took over after the zoo was closed, is in hot water for the condition of the animals at the Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
According to NPR, Jeff and Lauren Lowe were running the ranch when 68 lions, tigers, lion-tiger hybrids and a jaguar were seized over a three-day period in May. The raid was part of an investigation into the wellness of the animals that stemmed from violations of animal welfare laws after operating the park without a license.
“The Lowes have consistently failed to provide their Big Cats with a diet containing the necessary nutrients to allow them to grow properly and thrive,” the affidavit says.
During a December 2020 visit to the park, inspectors found that boneless chicken was the only food available for the big cats, which doesn’t fulfill the animals’ nutritional needs. When asked for a list of supplements that the animals were receiving, the facility named a horse weight-gain supplement called Gleam & Gain, which does not provide the necessary diet for big cats, according to authorities.
The affidavit says the impact of the poor diet could be seen in the animals, several of which appeared to be suffering from stunted growth, lameness, neurological abnormalities and skin lesions.
The details of the animals’ condition is heartbreaking, but officials said the animals would be moved to other preserves where they would hopefully be treated better. While no real consequences seem to be on the way for the Loews, without animals it seems like it would be difficult to keep the facility made famous by Tiger King up and running.