PETA Statement: Tim Stark of ‘Tiger King’ Loses Appeal

For Immediate Release:
April 10, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Charlestown, Ind. – Tim Stark of Wildlife in Need and Netflix’s Tiger King has just lost his appeal in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) administrative lawsuit against him and his roadside zoo. Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet:

No one who has encouraged patrons to hit baby tiger cubs, swung and tossed monkeys by their tails and hips during public encounters, and bludgeoned a leopard to death with a baseball bat should have an Animal Welfare Act exhibitor’s license, and that means Tim Stark. As Tiger King revealed the sordid underbelly of captive animal exhibits, PETA is calling for the animals in Stark’s custody to be transferred to reputable facilities—and urging everyone to stay away from roadside zoos.

In February, following an administrative lawsuit alleging more than 120 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) between 2012 and 2016, the USDA permanently revoked Stark’s license and ordered him and Wildlife in Need to pay a total of $340,000 in civil penalties, $40,000 of which was assessed against Stark individually. This latest order affirms the February decision.

In addition to facing a federal Endangered Species Act lawsuit from PETA, in which the group has already secured a preliminary injunction preventing Stark from prematurely separating baby big cats from their mothers or using them in public encounters while the litigation is ongoing, Stark and Wildlife in need are also being sued by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office for allegedly violating state nonprofit laws.

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

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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