Tiger King star Joe Exotic reacts to loss of zoo to rival

Photo: Netflix

Tiger King star Joe Exotic says his rival Carole Baskin being awarded the zoo he built is a "treachery" that has to be challenged.

The comments came in response to a court order earlier this week by a federal judge in Oklahoma, who awarded ownership of about 16 acres of land to Baskin's Big Cat Rescue Corp, as part of a civil judgement.

Exotic, also known as Joe Schreibvogel or Joe Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for plotting to have Baskin killed.

He said Monday's ruling was "yet another emotional blow" to his "already fragile" state.

Through his management team, he responded in a series of tweets, which included an attached statement.

"While we again acknowledge it is truly time to pray for justice for George Floyd's family as well as an end to systemic racism in America, we must address Carol [sic] Baskin's treachery before it goes unchecked," read a tweet.

The statement said: "As hard as this news is, we refuse to accept defeat. Even as we type this message, Joe's legal team is filing appeals and his social media/PR team are rallying public support."

The land in Garvin County, Oklahoma, which was awarded to Baskin, is home to the GW Exotic Animal Memorial Park.

Exotic had transferred the park to his former business partner Jeff Lowe and his mother several years ago, but the judge ruled that this action was fraudulent.

All animals have to be off the property within 120 days, the judge's ruling states.

However, according to US entertainment site TMZ, Lowe is not too bothered about losing the land.

"We have long anticipated that the judge would eventually undo the 2016 land transfer," he is quoted as saying. "We are thankful that he dragged out his decision this long and allowed us time to complete the new Tiger King Park in Thackerville Oklahoma."

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness is a Netflix documentary series that follows the bizarre world of big cat breeding in the US and the feud between Exotic and animal rights activist Baskin.

It also explores the disappearance of Baskin's husband - millionaire Jack "Don" Lewis, who disappeared in 1997 and was declared dead in 2002.

Exotic raised questions about his disappearance in the show and repeatedly accused Baskin of killing her husband.

Baskin has never been charged with any crime and released a statement vehemently refuting the accusations made in the series.

Her husband left most of his estate, including a private Tampa zoo that would eventually become Big Cat Rescue animal sanctuary, to Baskin, cutting out his children from a previous marriage.

This week, the sheriff investigating his disappearance said his will was a fake.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told US TV channel 10 Tampa Bay that two experts had confirmed the will was "100% a forgery".

He said criminal charges are not expected, since so much time has passed.

Lewis's disappearance remains an open case, and in March, Mr Chronister announced that the sheriff's office was seeking new leads following the global success of Tiger King.

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