Carole Baskin awarded her the zoo that was once owned by ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic

Carole Baskin awarded her the zoo that was once owned by 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic

A judge ruled in favor of Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue Corporation on Monday in a lawsuit against Greater Wynnewood Development Group, LLC. The last company was owned by Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage.

The order gives Baskin control of approximately 16 acres of land in Garvin County, Oklahoma, which houses an animal park with a wide variety of big cats.

GWDC must “vacate Zoo Land facilities within 120 days of service of this Order … Vacations from the facility will also require removal of all animals from Zoo Land Zoo,” the court order said.

The ruling also awarded Baskin several cabins and vehicles, according to court records.

Baskin, the owner of an animal sanctuary in Florida, had been a vocal critic of the Maldonado-Passage Animal Park for years, a dispute that turned into a court battle.

Maldonado-Passage argued that Baskin was trying to destroy his business with an online video smear campaign that he posted on his YouTube page and social media channels. Meanwhile, Baskin argued that Exotic was abusing their animals and crossed against his use of tigers for profit.
He was convicted last year in a murder for rent plot against Baskin and it’s serving a 22-year sentence for the attempted coup and other crimes that include animal abuse.
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Court documents allege that he attempted to pay a hitman $ 3,000 to kill Baskin and also that he shot and killed five tigers, sold baby lemurs, and falsified documents to say they were donated.

In 2011, Baskin won a trademark infringement lawsuit against Maldanado-Passage, who was ordered to pay him $ 1 million. In a second lawsuit, filed in 2016, she claimed that she had subsequently transferred Oklahoma property to her mother in an attempt to evade creditors. On Monday, a federal judge in Oklahoma City ordered that the property be turned over to Baskin.

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An attorney for Jeff Lowe, the park’s current owner, told CNN that the ruling was not unexpected.

“We anticipate Carol Baskin would obtain the title of the former park that once belonged to Joe Exotic, and we do not question her attempts to do so,” Mosley said Monday. “Jeff’s entire focus is on opening the new Tiger King Park in Thackerville, (Oklahoma), which should open in the next 120 days.”

CNN has reached out to Baskin to comment on the ruling, but has yet to receive a response.

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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