Feds seize big cats from Tiger King Park in Thackerville
THACKERVILLE, Okla. (KXII) - Eight adult hybrid cats were seized Thursday from Jeff Lowe’s property in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
Love County Sheriff Marty Grisham said the animals were taken from his Tiger King Park by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after a search and seizure warrant was served.
Lowe had been given several citations by the feds alleging he mistreats the animals, and subjects them to poor conditions.
The cats are bred with multiple species, such as Ligers, which Big Cat Rescue Advisory Board Chairman Howard Baskin said are protected under the Endangered Species Act because of a recent Indiana court ruling.
However Lowe said they are not covered by the act.
TMZ is reporting the seizure is a continuation of another recent one, but there are no criminal charges to speak of yet and no arrests have been made.
The seizure comes after the USDA cited Lowe for poor living conditions because the cages the animals were living in were too small. However, the enclosures Lowe showed News 12 on the property were much larger, with plenty more space than the ones Baskin claims the cats were being kept in.
“The USDA came through, federal Fish and Wildlife came through, everyone has come through here thinking this place looks amazing,” Lowe said.
Lowe said he and the park are now facing the brunt of what he called failures by the USDA which were exposed during the filming of the Netflix hit series Tiger King released in 2020.
“All of their failures now fall on our backs because they screwed it up,” Lowe said.
Lowe said his park had a perfect inspection record until the docuseries came out. The animals in the park did not appear as skinny and crammed as the allegations made it seem.
However, Baskin doubled down, saying on top of the cages not bing large enough Lowe has also been issued several other citations from the USDA and Department of Justice for his treatment of the animals
“What we see in our drome video that’s very concerning is these animals pacing back and forth and back and forth and that’s sterotypic pacing which is typically caused by stress,” said Baskin, who along with his wife, were caught flying a drone over the Tiger King property in April. “To keep them in a box is just cruel.”
Last week, Lowe was involved in a physical altercation over a drone flying above his property.
“He just pulls (these allegations) out of thin air to justify spying on us for four days with his drone,” Lowe said.
Baskin said he wants the animals in Tiger King Park to be moved to a new sanctuary and he wants Lowe to have nothing to do with them.
Lowe said he and his wife, Lauren, will be leaving the park to take over another big cat park located outside the USA that will house over 400 cats.
For the animals in the Tiger King Park Lowe said if Baskin can give them a good home “more power to him.”
Lowe and his wife were featured in the Netflix hit series, Tiger King, released in 2020.
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