WYNNEWOOD, OKLAHOMA (AP) – A federal judge in Oklahoma has awarded ownership of the zoo made famous in Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries to Joe Exotic’s chief rival.
In a ruling on Monday, United States (US) District Judge Scott Palk granted control of the Oklahoma zoo that was previously run by Joseph Maldonado-Passage — also known as Joe Exotic — to Big Cat Rescue Corp.
The Florida group was founded by Carole Baskin, who also featured prominently in the hit Netflix series. Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a 22-year federal prison term for killing five tigers and plotting to have Baskin killed.
Baskin previously sued Maldonado-Passage for tra demark and copyright infringements and won a USD1 million civil judgement against him. Palk’s judgement on Monday found that ownership of the zoo was fraudulently transferred to Maldonado-Passage’s mother in an attempt to avoid paying the judgement.
The decision said the zoo animals must be removed from the property within 120 days but it does not detail what should happen to them.
Attorneys representing Big Cat Rescue Corp did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Maldonado-Passage remains incarcerated in Fort Worth, Texas. In a handwritten letter posted on Monday on Twitter, he repeated his plea for a presidential pardon.