PETA Confiscates Lions From Tawdry ‘Tiger King’ Roadside Zoo

Group Plans to Sue Unless G.W. Park Gets Out of the Animal-Exploiting Business, Lets the Animals Go to Sanctuaries

For Immediate Release:
September 22, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Wynnewood, Okla. – Pursuant to a court order, PETA and The Wild Animal Sanctuary have confiscated three juvenile lions from Tiger King subject Jeff Lowe’s now-defunct Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (G.W. Park).

The confiscation comes as part of PETA’s victorious Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuit against Lowe’s former business partner Tim Stark, who transferred the lions to Lowe. PETA is now setting its sights on the G.W. Park and has sent Lowe and several of his associates a notice of intent (NOI) to sue under the ESA (which requires plaintiffs to inform potential defendants at least 60 days prior to taking legal action).

PETA alleges that the G.W. Park and its operators have violated the ESA in numerous ways. This includes by prematurely separating big-cat cubs from their mothers and forcing them to interact with members of the public as well as denying ring-tailed lemurs, big cats, and a grizzly bear proper nutrition and species-appropriate enrichment. The grizzly and the big cats were also denied adequate veterinary care, as alleged by PETA. PETA’s lawsuit will ask the court to stop Lowe from continuing to harm or harass protected animals both at the G.W. Park in Wynnewood and at a planned facility in Thackerville, as alleged in the NOI.

“PETA wants to end the G.W. Park’s years of tormenting animals,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet, who appeared in Tiger King. “Avoiding this lawsuit is as simple as letting PETA find new homes for these animals at reputable sanctuaries—and agreeing never to own, exhibit, or have any other contact with ESA-protected animals again.”

At The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, the three rescued lions will enjoy acres to roam and receive professional veterinary care. One of them is Nala, who was so ill in June that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) halted an inspection and ordered Lowe to provide her with immediate veterinary care. Afterward, the USDA suspended Lowe’s federal Animal Welfare Act license and began proceedings to revoke it permanently.

A fourth lion had been transferred from Stark to Lowe—but PETA recently learned that she died under suspicious circumstances, allegedly in August. The group is investigating her death.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind