Sixty-eight big cats, including tigers, lions, ligers and a jaguar have been seized from the Oklahoma animal park owned by a couple featured in “Tiger King” who are accused of abusing and mistreating the animals and threatening a federal official, the US Justice Department announced Thursday.
Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe have been accused of mistreating the animals and of threatening a federal official. The rose to fame in the Netflix documentary series in 2020.
The Lowes, who ran the park formerly run by imprisoned “Tiger King” star Joe Exotic, are accused of inhumane treatment and ongoing violations of the Endangered Species Act.
The couple allegedly failed “to provide the animals with adequate or timely veterinary care, appropriate nutrition, and shelter that protects them from inclement weather and is of sufficient size to allow them to engage in normal behaviour,” according to a statement released on May 20.
“This seizure should send a clear message that the Justice Department takes alleged harm to captive-bred animals protected under the Endangered Species Act very seriously,” said acting assistant attorney general Jean E. Williams of the Justice Department’s environment and natural resources division.
“The Lowes have consistently failed to provide their Big Cats with a diet containing the necessary nutrients to allow them to grow properly and thrive,” its is claimed.
Joe Exotic, 58, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his part in a contract-to-kill.
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