A federal judge has granted Carole Baskin of Florida's Big Cat Rescue control of the 16-acre zoo in Wynnewood, property that was previously owned by Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, known as "Joe Exotic" in the hit Netflix docuseries.
It's the latest twist in the bitter rivalry between Maldonado-Passage and Baskin that served as a primary storyline in "Tiger King." Maldonado-Passage frequently accused her of murdering her first husband and feeding him to her tigers, while she countered with accusations that he was abusing his animals.
Maldonado-Passage is serving a 22-year prison sentence after being convicted on two counts of murder-for-hire last year for paying $3,000 to a hit man to kill Baskin.
The transfer of the property to Baskin's control comes after Big Cat Rescue sued Maldonado-Passage's mother, Shirley Schreibvogel, in 2016, claiming that her son fraudulently transferred control of the zoo to her in 2011 to keep it away from creditors, including Big Cat Rescue, according to Courthouse News Service.
“Schreibvogel later admitted under oath that the zoo land was transferred to her by Joe Maldonado to remove it from the reach of creditors, including BCR, should BCR win its Florida lawsuit," according to the complaint.
The G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park was under the control of Jeff Lowe, who was also featured in "Tiger King." The judge ordered him to vacate the premises within 120 days and remove all zoo animals on the property, according to Courthouse News Service.
Eric Goode, one of the filmmakers behind "Tiger King," told Entertainment Weekly in March that the Oklahoma zoo was "running on fumes."
"No one is going now and there’s no source of income, and that's been going on for a long time,'' he said. "It's not something that has just happened because of what's happening in the world today.
"But I think that it's very sad what’s happening to these animals. And it's anyone's guess as to what's going to happen to them. Some will be placed but I would suspect a lot of them will die from starvation, and probably be put down."