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Authorities Confiscate 68 Large Felines from Tiger King Park

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Authorities Confiscate 68 Large Felines from Tiger King Park

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Back in March of 2020, during the initial wave of the pandemic that confined people to their homes, Netflix aired Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. The peculiar tale of Joe Exotic, who claimed ownership of tigers, and his conflict with conservationist Carole Baskin became widely known for a brief period (likely due to the limitations on where we could go). Despite Exotic being imprisoned, his park has continued to operate under the management of Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe, leveraging the fame from the documentary series to attract more patrons. However, the surge in attention has brought about increased scrutiny of their operational methods, leading to a recent intervention by law enforcement authorities.

Acting upon a warrant for search and seizure, supported by an affidavit alleging mistreatment and harassment of the animals in the Lowes’ care, federal enforcement officials confiscated a total of 68 large felines from the park. This tally comprises 46 tigers, 15 crossbred lion-tigers, seven lions, and a jaguar.

“This seizure serves as a clear indication that the Justice Department does not take lightly the purported harm to captive-bred animals protected under the Endangered Species Act,” stated Jean E. Williams, the acting Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice.

While the author of the affidavit remains anonymous, the report alleges that the animals were subjected to contaminated food, substandard living conditions, and scant veterinary attention. Moreover, park personnel endured verbal and physical abuse from the Lowes on a regular basis. This mistreatment even extended to law enforcement officers during a prior search warrant execution earlier this month.

“The continuous intimidation, harassment of staff, and physical obstructions led to the creation of an unsafe environment during a high-risk law enforcement operation involving the challenging search, seizure, and relocation of highly dangerous wild animals,” the affidavit detailed. “A misstep in this circumstance could easily result in loss of life or severe injury to any individual on the premises.”

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