Unraveling the Truth Behind Carole Baskin’s Alleged Purchase of Joe Exotic’s Zoo
When the hit documentary series “Tiger King” debuted on Netflix, it immediately captured the attention of audiences around the world. The show, which focused on the bitter rivalry between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, two prominent figures in the world of exotic animal ownership, was a compelling and often shocking look into a subculture that few people knew existed.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the show was the claim that Baskin had purchased Exotic’s zoo in Oklahoma after he was forced to sell it due to a court ruling in a lawsuit brought against him by Baskin. However, as with many things in “Tiger King,” the truth behind this statement is much more complex than it initially appears.
To understand what really happened, we need to look at the court case that led to Exotic’s zoo going up for sale. Baskin sued Exotic for trademark infringement, alleging that he was using her company’s name and logo to promote his own business. After a lengthy legal battle, a federal judge awarded Baskin a judgment of over $1 million, which Exotic was unable to pay.
As a result, Baskin was given ownership of Exotic’s zoo, but the court ruling did not immediately transfer ownership of the property to her. Instead, Exotic was given 120 days to vacate the premises and remove all of his animals from the property.
It was during this time that Exotic made several attempts to transfer ownership of the zoo to different individuals and entities, in an effort to prevent Baskin from gaining control of it. One of these attempts involved selling the zoo to Jeff Lowe, a former business associate who had become involved in the legal battle between Exotic and Baskin.
In “Tiger King,” Exotic alleges that Baskin orchestrated the sale of the zoo to Lowe in order to gain control of it indirectly. He claims that she knew the public backlash against his zoo was growing and that she wanted to distance herself from it. However, there is little concrete evidence to support these claims.
While Lowe is shown in the show displaying dismissive attitudes towards animal welfare regulations, there is no direct evidence to suggest that Baskin was involved in the sale to him. She has denied any involvement and maintains that she had no interest in owning the zoo or working with Lowe.
Baskin did eventually gain control of the zoo after Lowe faced his own legal troubles and was forced to vacate the property. However, she did not purchase it from him. Instead, she gained control of the zoo through a series of legal maneuvers that were eventually authorized by a court-appointed receiver named Daniel Cardenas.
Today, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is no longer in operation. Baskin has moved the animals to other sanctuaries and zoos around the country, and the property itself remains the subject of ongoing legal proceedings related to ownership and control.
In conclusion, while “Tiger King” suggests that Carole Baskin was involved in the sale of Joe Exotic’s zoo to Jeff Lowe, there is no evidence to support this claim. Baskin did eventually gain control of the zoo, but she did not purchase it from Exotic or Lowe directly. The complex legal maneuvers that led to her gaining control of the property are a testament to just how fraught this world of exotic animal ownership can be, and how little we truly know about the people who participate in it.