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Jeff Lowe says he’ll leave Joe Exotic’s zoo ‘a complete hell’ for Carole Baskin

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness Trailer
WATCH: A Netflix documentary focuses on Joe Exotic, "a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo" and a cast of eccentric characters with one thing in common: they all love big cats.

Days after Carole Baskin won control over the Tiger King zoo in a court case, current owner Jeff Lowe says he’s not going down without making a statement.

Lowe has been given 120 days to vacate the property, which he says he’s going to leave in a state of “complete hell” when she gets the keys.

“I mean, because I’m not taking care of it as we leave,” he told ET Online. “The bamboo is about taking this place over.”

Baskin, Joe Exotic’s famous nemesis in the Netflix documentary series, officially gained control of the zoo on Monday after a judge ruled in favour of Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue Corporation in a lawsuit against the Greater Wynnewood Development Group, LLC, CNN reports.

READ MORE: Joe Exotic’s zoo handed over to rival Carole Baskin

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Wynnewood was previously owned by Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage. He’s currently serving a 22-year sentence for 17 counts of animal abuse and his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin.

Baskin, who owns a big cat rescue in Florida, now has control over the 16-acre property in Garvin County, Okla. The judge gave the current zoo operator 120 days to vacate the premises.

Up until Monday, the zoo was owned by Exotic’s mother, Shirley Schreibvogel, and his former rival, Jeff Lowe. Baskin, per The Guardian, alleged in court that the zoo was fraudulently transferred to avoid being seized by creditors.

In this July 20, 2017, file photo, Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue, walks the property near Tampa, Fla.
In this July 20, 2017, file photo, Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue, walks the property near Tampa, Fla. Loren Elliott/Tampa Bay Times via AP, File

Court documents shared online say U.S. District Judge Scott L. Palk found this transfer was made to “remove (the zoo) from the reach of Big Cat Rescue.”

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“We anticipated Carol Baskin getting the title to the former park that once belonged to Joe Exotic, and we did not challenge her attempts to do so,” Lowe’s attorney said Monday. “All of Jeff’s focus is on opening the new Tiger King Park in Thackerville, (Okla.), which should be opening in the next 120 days.”

Baskin has previously sued Exotic for trademark and copyright infringement after he appeared to use imagery from her own rescue logo.

The duo’s epic rivalry was documented on the TV show Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. In the series, Exotic made various accusations against Baskin, including the allegation that she murdered her husband Jack “Don” Lewis and fed him to her big cats.

READ MORE: New ‘Tiger King’ episode about Siegfried & Roy mauling headed to Netflix

Baskin denies the claims and has never been charged.

Court documents claim that Exotic tried to pay a hitman US$3,000 to kill Baskin. They also allege that he shot and killed five tigers and sold baby lemurs.

Their feud will be the focal point of an eight-episode scripted series starring Nicolas Cage, the actor’s publicist confirmed to Global News last month. The series will be based on a Texas Monthly story published in 2019 by Leif Reigstad that recounts how Exotic built his private Oklahoma zoo.

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meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca