The main character of the hit Netflix documentary series “Tiger King” has been forced by the courts to transfer ownership of his famous zoo to his nemesis, whom he had wanted to assassinate, epilogue to a saga that has enthralled millions of viewers.
A colourful character who has done much for the show’s popularity, Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joe Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January to 22 years in prison for attempted murder and is currently in custody.
He had targeted Carole Baskin, an animal advocate and critic of his methods, including the excessive reproduction of felines, the possibility for visitors to pet them, and the mistreatment that resulted in the death of several animals.
In a ruling Monday after four years of litigation, a federal judge in Oklahoma City ordered the transfer of ownership of the approximately six-hectare site on which the zoo is located, located south of Oklahoma City.
The Greater Wynnewood Development Group, formerly controlled by Joe Exotic, will have to free the premises, “including the evacuation of all animals from the zoo,” Judge Scott Palk ordered in a ruling seen by AFP.
Although its previous owner, Joe Exotic, was in prison, the zoo had continued to operate and had just reopened in early May after several weeks of closure due to containment.
Joe Exotic’s former economic partner, Jeff Lowe, had officially bought GWDG, but the federal magistrate nevertheless decided to transfer ownership of the site.
“Tiger King,” a seven-part documentary, was one of the most-watched programs in Netflix’s history. The platform announced at the end of April that in one month, 64 million subscribers had seen all or part of the series.
Joe Exotic, 57, made an official request for clemency from Donald Trump in early May.