PETA Statement on DOJ Lawsuit Against Jeff Lowe of ‘Tiger King’

For Immediate Release:
November 19, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Thackerville, Okla.

Breaking news: Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet, who appeared in Tiger King, in response to reports that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a civil lawsuit under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) against notorious animal exhibitor Jeff Lowe; his wife, Lauren Lowe; and two businesses associated with the Lowes. The suit seeks, among other relief, for the court to enjoin them all permanently from violating the AWA and the ESA and to order the Lowes to relinquish all endangered species in their possession:

The dominos are continuing to fall with nearly every animal abuser featured in Tiger King now in custody, out of business, or facing lawsuits or charges, including criminal charges. The DOJ’s lawsuit is another sign that Lowe’s animal-exploiting days are numbered and that the big cat cub-petting industry is finished, something that PETA has worked hard for. PETA is eager to see every exploited animal sent to a happy, reputable home.

In September, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—and The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado rescued three juvenile lions, Nala, Amelia, and Leo, from Lowe’s custody. These survivors—one of their brothers, also slated for rescue, died days earlier under suspicious circumstances—were emaciated and had wounds on their bodies. Nala and Amelia’s ears were red and raw from flystrike, and Nala couldn’t take more than a couple of steps without falling over. Today, just two months after their rescue, Nala, Amelia, and Leo are recovering and thriving at the sanctuary.

In addition to the DOJ’s lawsuit, Lowe is facing an AWA license revocation lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a federal ESA lawsuit from PETA. In October, Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue took possession of the Greater Wynnewood Zoological Park after winning ownership in yet another lawsuit involving Lowe.

PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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