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Tiger King star Jeff Lowe is being sued for alleged animal cruelty

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Tiger King star Jeff Lowe is being sued by the US government for alleged animal cruelty.

The Department of Justice has accused Mr Lowe and his wife Lauren Dropla, in a civil lawsuit, of “recurring inhumane treatment and improper handling” of tigers and lions at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, the exotic cat zoo made famous by the Netflix series.

In a statement, principal deputy assistant attorney general Jonathan D Brightbill said the couple had failed to provide “basic veterinary care, appropriate food, and safe living conditions for the animals”.

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“Animals were not provided with sufficient quantities of appropriate food and were underweight and suffering from nutritional deficiencies, making them susceptible to fractures, unable to stand or walk, and exhibiting neurological problems,” he added.

“Inspectors also found foul-smelling, partially burned and decomposing big cat carcasses and a broken-down refrigerator truck containing rotting meat.”

Carole Baskin.
Carole Baskin. CREDIT: Netflix/YouTube

In June, a court ordered Lowe to vacate the zoo and hand the premises to Carole Baskin, who Joe Exotic was convicted of trying to have killed. Exotic previously owned the zoo.

Lowe said of the decision at the time: “I expected it a year ago. We knew that the writing was on the wall.”

Exotic called the decision a “treachery that has to be challenged”.

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Lowe has since moved 160 big cats to a new zoo in Thackerville, 60 miles south.

“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,” he said in August.

“The Lowes have made public statements that the new Thackerville facility will be named ‘Tiger King Park’ and will operate as a film set for television shows and other video content,” the DoJ have now said.

The DoJ said it would seek unspecified damages from the Lowes and attempt to seize “certain animals” from them.

Lowe has yet to respond to the claim but has in the past accused the government of making “false accusations” against him.

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Date: 21 November 2020
Author: Damian Jones

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