EXCLUSIVE: “Tiger King” star Jeff Lowe, current owner of Joe Exotic’s former Oklahoma zoo, revealed to Fox News in an exclusive interview what his plans are for his hundreds of big cats now that a judge has granted Carole Baskin full control of the property.
Lowe, whose name and business went viral after the release of Netflix’s docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” told Fox in an interview that he long prepared for the day Joseph Maldonado-Passage’s (Joe Exotic’s real name) arch-nemesis Baskin would take over the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park.
“We fully prepared for this,” Lowe told us. “We’ve been scrounging and saving and bringing in investors for almost two years for the day we were going to be forced off this land.”
Jeff Lowe revealed his thoughts on Carole Baskin assuming control of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal park.
The ruling came on Monday when a federal judge granted Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue Corp. the right to assume control of the property. The ruling was a result of one of several contentious debates between Baskin and Maldonado-Passage, who committed fraud in 2011 when he transferred the properties to his mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel.
Now, Lowe and his hundreds of exotic animals, including tigers, lions, bears, monkeys, and more, have 120 days to vacate the property. He tells Fox News that Baskin will have a big wake-up call the second she steps foot on the grounds.
“We hate this place,” Lowe admitted. “The community is nice and they’re kind to us but we hate this facility because Joe built this as a breeding facility. It was never designed to accommodate 200- to 400-pound cats. He kept them confined with nothing to do but breed and produce cubs. That’s not the life we want for these guys.”
Jeff Lowe revealed his future plans after Carole Baskin has been granted control of his Oklahoma zoo.
Lowe blasted Maldonado-Passage’s former stomping grounds — he’s now incarcerated in prison for hiring a hitman to kill Baskin — for its inadequacies. It’ll now be up to Baskin what she can do with it.
“There are 20-year-old, rusty cages. Carole’s going to walk into a park that’s in serious need of a complete rebuild. It’s one of the reasons we want to get out of here,” Lowe said. “It’s going to be overgrown as hell!”
Not to mention, the exotic animal park has a particularly eerie history, he added.
“When you walk in here at night it’s the creepiest place ever,” Lowe said, claiming that in addition to Maldonado-Passage’s former husband fatally shooting himself on the property, there are “ghosts” of others who were rumored to be killed on site.
Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue.
Shortly after Baskin’s win was announced on Monday, the embattled Netflix star put out a statement through her Big Cat Rescue Corp. website saying she’s “ready to assist” in rehoming Lowe’s animals if there’s a need — a statement he balked at.
“Screw Carole Baskin! I’ll rehome Carole Baskin just like she rehomed Don Lewis! The last person she rehomed didn’t go so well for him,” Lowe laughed, referencing the unsolved murder of Baskin’s first husband.
Lewis’ mysterious 1999 disappearance and subsequent death was documented on “Tiger King,” which saw Maldonado-Passage and others accusing Baskin of killing her first husband. She has since vehemently denied the claims, although Lowe feels she’s now in “big trouble” after the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department in Florida confirmed Lewis’ will was “100 percent forged” this week.
Lowe said he “cannot even imagine” the hatred Baskin receives daily. The attention, albeit mostly negative, is something Baskin practically asked for — and deserves, he said.
Jeff Lowe of ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.’
“The attention we get when myself [and wife Lauren Lowe] get when we go out in public is crazy. I can’t imagine the kickback Carole gets when she goes to the grocery store,” Lowe said. “One report I read says she’s the most-hated woman on earth right now. I don’t wish that on anybody…but she asked for it.”
Lowe went on to call Baskin a “spiteful, vengeful woman who couldn’t be satisfied that Joe [Exotic] was struggling.”
“She couldn’t be satisfied when she ruined his mall circuit years ago. She would call them and say, ‘If you let that animal abuser in your mall we’re going to protest your tenants! She stepped on his toes first.”
Lowe told Fox she “deserves what she’s getting” now in response to the claims about Lewis.
While Lowe is happy to walk away from the property he’s helped run, he said Baskin’s in for quite a rude awakening. In April, the Daily Mail published photographs of the kinky sex toys still housed at the property left behind by Maldonado-Passage. He revealed to Fox what he plans to do with the leftover ones that he hasn’t already burned to shreds.
Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin appears in a scene from ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.’
“I’m going to leave them for Carole! They’re hers now,” Lowe shared with us. “She’ll be finding sex toys for the next five years.”
As for his next move, considering he has until October to leave the property, Lowe confirmed he’s got a major zoo already in the works in Tackerville, Okla. It will be a facility “10 times the size” of Maldonado-Passage’s former one, and he’s bringing all of his animals with him.
“We’re relocating approximately 200 cats and 200 other species — camels, zebras, monkeys, wolves, bears, emus,” he said. “It’ll be a full-blown zoo. I’m stoked about getting down there.”
Lowe said his new facility will be a whole new world for his animals, who will be able to roam in much larger cages, with a river he’s having installed running through. Visitors will even be able to stay inside cabins on the property that will allow them to hear lions and tigers and jaguars roaring throughout the night.
“It’s going to be really awesome,” he said.