The U.S. government has seized almost 70 big cats from an Oklahoma animal park operated by a star of “Tiger King,” officials said Thursday.
Sixty-eight lions, tigers and lion-tiger hybrids, and one jaguar, were taken from Tiger King Park in Thackerville, which is run by Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe.
The animals were seized for Endangered Species Act violations, the Justice Department said in a statement. They did not have proper shelter, food or veterinary care, the department said.
The Lowes were featured in the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” which focused on Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as “Joe Exotic.”
Maldonado-Passage is serving a 22-year prison sentence for a murder-for-hire scheme.
Maldonado-Passage previously ran a zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, which the Lowes also operated. Animals from that zoo were moved to Thackerville last year, the government has said in court documents.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas McQuaid said in a statement that the animals would go to “responsible animal preserves where they can be safely maintained rather than exploited.”