Tiger King star Jeff Lowe accused of animal cruelty

Jeffrey Lowe in Tiger King

image copyrightNetflix

Jeff Lowe, who appeared in Tiger King and took over the zoo featured in the Netflix hit, has been accused by the US government of cruelty to animals there.

The Department of Justice has sued Mr Lowe and his wife Lauren, alleging “recurring inhumane treatment and improper handling” of tigers and lions.

Mr Lowe hasn’t commented but has previously accused the government of making “false accusations” against him.

He took over the Oklahoma zoo from his ex-business partner Joe Exotic in 2016.

Joe Exotic and a tiger

image copyrightNetflix

Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, which housed more than 230 tigers and lions, has been targeted in a series of inspections by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Mr Lowe has said the agency had bowed to pressure from animal rights charity Peta, and that his park had become a target for “every nutjob and animal rights loon in the world”.

On Thursday, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said it had filed a civil lawsuit against Mr and Mrs Lowe, accusing them of “illegally taking, possessing, and transporting protected animals” and “placing the health of animals in serious danger”.

In a statement, principal deputy assistant attorney general Jonathan D Brightbill said the couple had failed to provide “basic veterinary care, appropriate food, and safe living conditions for the animals”.

The lack of adequate care resulted in untimely death “in some cases”, the DoJ said.

“Animals were not provided with sufficient quantities of appropriate food and were underweight and suffering from nutritional deficiencies, making them susceptible to fractures, unable to stand or walk, and exhibiting neurological problems,” they added.

“Inspectors also found foul-smelling, partially burned and decomposing big cat carcasses and a broken-down refrigerator truck containing rotting meat.”

Carole Baskin and a lion in a cage

image copyrightNetflix

In June, a court ordered Mr Lowe to vacate the zoo and hand the premises to Carole Baskin, who Joe Exotic was convicted of trying to have killed.

Mr Lowe shut the park in August and has since moved 160 big cats to a new zoo in Thackerville, 60 miles south.

Exotic, real name real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22-year sentence for his involvement in the murder-for-hire plot and animal abuse.

line

Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Read More

Read Previous

South Africa and Malawi Quarrel Over Fate of Shepherd Bushiri, a Fugitive Preacher

Read Next

Berlin police hold ‘cannibal’ after bones found in park