Tiger King: G.W. Exotic Animal Park Is Still Open, but Things Look Very Bleak
An endlessly memeable hotbed of illicit activities and wild animals, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is the primary setting of Netflix's wild Tiger King docuseries. The Oklahoman attraction has drawn much controversy over the years, especially with regard to animal abuse on its premises. Even after all that its founder Joe Exotic (Joseph Maldonado-Passage) has been through, it remains open today. Here's what we know about the whereabouts of the G.W. Zoo thus far.
Today, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is still under the ownership of CEO Jeff Lowe, who partnered up with Tim Stark of the nonprofit Wildlife in Need. If you recall, Lowe, a sketchy character himself, swooped in and financed the zoo after Maldonado-Passage lost all of his money in the million-dollar Carole Baskin lawsuit.
After Maldonado-Passage landed in jail, Lowe made plans to shut down the current facility and move the animals to a zoo in Thackerville, no longer wanting to be associated with Joe Exotic. He's in the process of building the Oklahoma Zoo (not the same as the Oklahoma City Zoo), which is tentatively set to open this Summer. While his partnership with Stark was originally rosy, it quickly fell apart when Stark accused Lowe of not keeping up on his end of the work and money. Stark himself also currently faces charges of animal abuse.
Still, the G.W. Exotic Animal Park hasn't been shut down. It remains accessible to the public today (yes, even with the coronavirus pandemic afoot). According to its website, it opens for business from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, 365 days a year. But while the zoo is still operating, it's not necessarily thriving. According to Tiger King filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, the animal park isn't looking great.
Goode told Entertainment Weekly, "All I can tell you is that he [Jeff Lowe] is basically operating on fumes. No one is going now and there's no source of income, and that's been going on for a long time." Goode believes that the animals will be placed, put down, or starved to the point of death.
The reality of the situation doesn't look like it's going in Lowe's favor. The COVID-19 pandemic will likely affect Lowe's business and finances. And at the end of Tiger King, there's speculation that Lowe, as well as other breeders in the business, will go down as Maldonado-Passage spills dirt on them to animal rights organizations. Only time can tell what will become of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park and Oklahoma Zoo.