Orders Come After Lions Seized: Now, PETA Issues New Notice of Intent to Sue G.W. Park Under the Endangered Species Act
For Immediate Release:
October 5, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
Wynnewood, Okla. – Jeff Lowe, the beleaguered former operator of the now-defunct Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (G.W. Park), and his wife, Lauren, have just been dealt more blows in their legal battles with PETA, which has announced that it will file a new lawsuit against G.W Park under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
On October 2, the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Oklahoma ordered Lauren to pay $6,851.92 to PETA for having to compel her to sit for a deposition and provide records. The day before, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Indiana ordered Jeff to pay PETA $2,539.05 in connection with having to compel his deposition testimony and handing over lion husbandry records.
The fee orders come just days after PETA and The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado confiscated three lions from G.W. Park as part of PETA’s victorious ESA lawsuit against Jeff’s former business partner Tim Stark, who transferred the lions to him. A fourth lion had also been transferred from Stark to him, and PETA has learned that she died under suspicious circumstances before she could be rescued. The group is actively investigating her death.
“Courts are clamping down on Jeff and Lauren Lowe’s brazen disregard for the law and for animals’ welfare,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA looks forward to prompt payment from them and vigorously pursuing our new, upcoming lawsuit against their foundering facility.”
In its formal letter announcing its notice of intent to sue, PETA alleges that G.W. Park violated the ESA in numerous ways, including by prematurely separating big-cat cubs from their mothers and forcing them to interact with the public as well as by denying ring-tailed lemurs, big cats, and a grizzly bear proper nutrition and species-appropriate enrichment. PETA is asking the court to prevent harm or harassment of protected animals, including at a planned facility in Thackerville.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that the U.S Department of Agriculture suspended Jeff’s federal Animal Welfare Act license in August and has begun proceedings to revoke it permanently.
The group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.